Bala Devi hopes to see spectators inside the stadium for the global event…
India international striker Bala Devi hopes to have spectators inside the stadium when the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup kicks off in India.
The Rangers striker, who made her debut for the Scottish club earlier this year, believes the global event to be hosted by India can inspire youngsters to take up the sport as their profession. Although there are concerns whether the tournament can be organized as planned due to the ongoing pandemic, Bala is hoping that things will get better by then so that spectators can enjoy the sport from the stadium.
The tournament was scheduled to be in October 2020 initially before being scheduled to start in February 2021. However, it has been delayed again.
“If they (the team) do well, it will help for sure. I hope by then the crowds can come back into football but it totally depends on the COVID-19 situation of course.
“The more people that watch, the more youth will be inspired to take up the sport,” she told Goal.
In a new set of guidelines, detailing the fifth phase of unlocking following the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government of India has relaxed crowd restrictions it had imposed on sporting events.
The previous guidelines had stated that sporting activities, including football, can resume from 21st September 2020. But the Ministry of Home Affairs also specified that only 100 spectators will be allowed to attend sporting activities, outside of containment zones.
However, as per the new guidelines released on Wednesday, states and union territories have been given the flexibility to permit such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons from 15th October 2020.
With the pandemic scene in India not improving, the LOC (Local Organising Committee) and FIFA could find a new set of dates for the event again. There is also the possibility that it might be postponed to 2022.