Helping India deliver a successful U-17 World Cup
India is an ambitious sporting nation. Whilst cricket remains the most popular and most played, over recent years there has been an explosion in interest in other sports. India now hosts a wide variety of sports leagues including kabaddi, tennis, badminton and hockey. Football is also growing in popularity with over 250 million fans across the country, two professional football leagues and a developing relationship with the English Premier League to support the development of referees and coaches. The profile of India as a footballing nation is growing exponentially.
In 2017, the eyes of the footballing world focused on India as it hosted the FIFA Under-17 World Cup across six venues and cities. To ensure that there were no major incidents in any of the stadiums, and that all spectators could experience a safe, welcoming environment, a stadium and security partnership between UEFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was established. The SGSA contributed to this partnership and played a significant role in the success of the tournament.
The SGSA were asked to support the local organising committee by inspecting the six match-hosting venues and calculate the maximum safe capacities of each venue in line with our best-practice guidance, the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds. By undertaking the assessments, we could support the tournament committee to prepare various safety and security aspects for the tournament and help ensure a safe tournament for all spectators.
The SGSA visited and assessed the safe capacities of stadiums in all six host cities: Kochi, Goa, Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai and Kolkata. We assessed the physical infrastructure of each venue, helping to determine the maximum safe capacity.
We then made strategic recommendations for each individual venue to assist the organising committee in prioritising the development of each venue in preparation for the tournament.
Through our involvement, the tournament organising committee was able to elevate the safety of spectators as a priority and plan for the hosting of each match with the knowledge that the safe capacities of each stadium were underpinned by world-class expertise in sports ground safety.
How to calculate the safe capacity of a sports ground?
The responsibility for calculating the safe capacity of a ground rests with the ground management. Where any part or parts of a ground are covered by a safety certificate issued by the local authority the capacity calculated by ground management should be reviewed by the local authority and if validated included in the safety certificate. Further information and detail is available in the Green Guide.