Kolkata, Oct 24 (IANS) Both Brazil and England on Tuesday made light of the last-minute logistical alterations that were made for their FIFA U-17 semi-final due to poor pitch conditions in Guwahati, saying they are happy to play in a World Cup and nothing else matters to them.
The marquee clash was originally supposed to take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati but incessant rain forced FIFA to shift the game to Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan which will also host the final on Saturday.
“The only thing is that we are happy to play in a World Cup and in front of you all. We won’t change our humour whatever happens in this competition. The worst would be Brazil not playing in a World Cup than shifting the venue,” Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
“We don’t have the power to influence FIFA. We were designated to play in Guwahati. Then we were informed we have to play in Kolkata. We wanted to play in Guwahati. But when we got there the match got shifted to Kolkata.
“We are happy to play here again as you received us in a really good way. The crowd and grass are also reasons why we are happy,” he added.
Brazil midfielder Victor Bobsin echoed his coach.
“Our expectations (from the crowd) are always the best. We expect (to play) a great game against them. Also playing here, I feel happy as the support was beautiful for us,” he said.
The English have a similar take on the issue. Despite the last minute decision to shift the semi-final from Guwahati, England officials said their preparations were not hampered.
“We have not faced any problems due to last minute travel changes. The players are well rested and ready to take the field tomorrow,” an England team official told IANS on the sidelines of their practice session here.
Asked whether the team trained in Guwahati on Monday or not, the official said: “Yes the team did train in Guwahati. We flew in here around midnight yesterday.”
In an official media release, FIFA said on Monday: “Despite the great efforts by all involved parties, including the authorities of Guwahati, to preserve the pitch, FIFA has taken this decision following consultations with both teams in order to safeguard the players’ health and to ensure the best playing conditions.”
England and Brazil are both hot favourites to win the crown owing to their red-hot form throughout the tournament.
This will be the third face-off between the two nations in the tournament’s history. While England triumphed 2-1 in South Korea in 2007, Brazil won 1-0 in Chile in 2015.
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