Kolkata, Oct 24 (IANS) Brazil and England on Tuesday made light of the last-minute logistical alterations 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 and the third-fourth place battles 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.
“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 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. Also playing here I feel happy as the support was beautiful for us,” he said.
The English have a similar take on the issue.
England coach Steve Cooper went a step ahead to say they were pleased to return to the venue where the team had spent “wonderful times” winning all their group games before defeating Japan in the pre-quarterfinals via penalty shootout.
“We like it obviously,” Cooper said.
Refering to Saturday’s final, the coach said, somewhat light heartedly: “It was our plan to come back, didn’t think we will be this early.”
Cooper said his charges reacted positively the moment he informed them about the change of venue for the pre-summit round.
“As soon as we told the boys, it was a positive response. I have said on many occasions that we had had wonderful times here. I was sad to leave Kolkata. really pleased to be back.”
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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