FIFA has given the all clear for the opening double-header of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Sunday from 3pm. This was stated by Tatjana Haenni, Fifa Head of Women’s Competition at a FIFA Press conference held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain on Friday.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the event has been under immense pressure with regards to getting the five stadia ready after a late start to refurbishment and upgrading works. However, with only a day left before Nigeria tackles defending champion Korea DPR which starts 3 pm, and host T&T faces Chile three hours later, the venue and playing surface has been given the green light, the Guardian stated.
Haenni said, “We are pretty happy with them. We did some work in the last two three weeks with a consultant who was over in T&T helping the local people in terms of making the pitches up to standard and I think he gave a big support to them. “He was also able to make the training pitches on average to good so we are pleased and I will say that everything with respect to the field looks good.”
Haenni was speaking after the final meeting yesterday with members of Fifa, the LOC and the TTFF. While the playing field at Mucurapo got a thumbs up, Haenni noted that her organisation had also raised some critical issues.
“Basically our main concern is the readiness of the venue for Sunday in terms of lighting and IT production.” “We have to make sure that all the necessary things are in place so we can guarantee a proper TV production which needs a certain quality and lighting in the Stadium.
“We have been informed that people have been at the venue working tirelessly to make sure that this is completed on time.
“There are also other critical issues which are all Stadium-related such as work to be done in the media areas; that is the mixed zone and press conference areas. Haenni explained that as with the norm with all Fifa tournaments, all systems are expected to be in place at least three days before the kick-off of the tournament. However when the Fifa team did arrive on Wednesday this was not the case.
“Fifa has organised events all over the world, therefore we understand that not every country is the same so we will continue to work hand-in-hand with the LOC. “We have observed that in T&T certain things are a bit last minute, which we have now come to accept and obviously if for some reason there is some further delay, we will really need to have some big discussions and try and determine how best we can help to get things done.”
With regards to the marketing of the tournament, Nataki Kerr, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the LOC admitted that her company could have been a bit more aggressive. She explained, “We were trying to strike a balance with our marketing strategy, targeting our corporate clients and the regular footballing community as well. “In saying so, we have had the message out there in the public for quite some time now and I think a part of this late rush for tickets has to do with our last minute culture in this country. Everyone is now trying to get on board in the last two weeks.” (Sept 3,2010. Photo shows the HC Stadium on Friday night)