FIFA fever grips India, more than 20,000 enthusiasts apply for U-17 World Cup volunteering

FIFA U-17 World Cup will commence from October 6 this year, with Kochi being the desired host city by 7,935 applicants

India, the country known for its obsession with cricket, is also showing a massive interest in football as more than 20,000 people from all over the world—mostly, Indian youngsters—have applied for volunteering in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be held in India this year.

In India, the craze for football isn’t as much as cricket. However, with a great deal of enthusiasm exhibited by the people in India, FIFA was expecting a good number of people to turn out for the registration. To the organiser’s joy, the response was overwhelming. On the very first day, they received 8,156 applications from about 68 different countries.

In a first, India will be hosting FIFA World Cup and also the first time that they will be playing in the World Cup. According to the data provided by FIFA, a total of 20,200 applications have been received for the volunteer program and from India, the highest number of applications is from New Delhi followed by Mumbai and Kolkata.

In those applicants, 60 per cent belong to age group of 18-22 years and the oldest volunteer is the 71-year-old football enthusiast from Goa. 7 per cent of the applicants are women. FIFA U-17 game will start from October 6 this year, with Kochi being the desired choice for the host city by 7,935 applicants.

The volunteers have applied for responsibilities ranging from Competition management, Marketing operations, Accreditation and IT departments. The volunteering program, which will end its registration in the month of May, will help youngsters in future as they will be rewarded a certificate from FIFA.

“It’s been very encouraging—the response,” Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director, LOC, FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 said. “We have already received more than 20,000 applications and the numbers should only go higher from here on. This talks about the fact that a significant amount of people are well aware that the tournament is happening and they are willing to give their time for free to make the tournament something remarkable.”