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I am honoured to be appointed Tournament Director: Roma Khanna

Dabolim: “I feel honoured and happy. It is a great feeling to have been given this responsibility,” Roma Khanna told The Navhind Times when asked what it felt like being the first Indian to be appointed Tournament Director by FIFA for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020.

“We were down in Goa for two days to access all the facilities available in Goa. A report will be prepared and sent to the concerned officials. I am unable to discuss or divulge any details of my present visit,’ said Roma, who was head of Venue Operations during the FIFA U-17 World Cup hosted by India in 2017 when Javier Ceppi was the Tournament Director.

India is to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup from September 21 to October 4, 2019 and Goa is one of the host cities. Unlike the FIFA World Cup in 2017, four cities have been shortlisted to host the tournament next year – Goa, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Roma and the rest of the FIFA team visited the Fatorda stadium on Thursday and the practice ground in Benaulim on Thursday; she also visited the practice ground in Utorda, Bambolim and Tilak Maidan, Vasco on Friday.

The FIFA team paid particular attention to the playing field at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda apart from checking the status of the infrastructure at the practice grounds that were built for the boys World Cup in 2017.

The FIFA team, according to highly placed sources, was impressed of the maintenance maintained by Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) of the facilities created two years back. However, a few questions were raised about the condition of the playing field at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda. 

“The SAG officials were informed that the condition of the playing field will need to be addressed by them. That was the only speck noticed during the FIFA two day visit to Goa,” a senior member accompanying the FIFA team during its visit, told The Navhind Times before the team’s departure from Goa on Friday.

India, as host, is one of the sixteen countries that will qualify for the World Cup. The Indian probable are already in Goa practicing under coach Alex Ambrose.

“The team will do their training in Goa. Some foreign tours are being planned but it is too early to say. Technical Director Doru Isac and coach Alex will decide the way forward,’ a senior All India football Federation (AIFF) official told The Navhind Times over the phone. 

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