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Coach Sutcliffe tells FIFA to give away U-17 World Cup tickets
New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Manchester City Assistant Coach Elliot Sutcliffe on Sunday advised world football's governing body FIFA to give away free tickets in the capital since all the group stage matches of the Indian team at the U-17 World Cup have been shifted here.
"The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium has a seating capacity of 60,000 spectators and if only 100-200 people come to see the match it will be a disgrace to the entire nation and the teams playing the match," he said.
"FIFA should give away free tickets to make the stadium full, that's the only way it seems at the moment," Sutcliffe said on the sidelines of the 'Premier League Skills Programme' here.
FIFA on Saturday approved the request by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to shift all the group matches of the Indian U-17 to the capital from Goa.
The capital will hold eight group stage and four Round of 16 matches in the U-17 World Cup with the ticket sales here recording the second lowest numbers in the country. Goa has recorded the lowest.
The skill camp was a week-long programme held at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here to train 60 coaches from India. Similar camps will also be held in Guwahati and Bengaluru.
"The Indian coaches here will take at least decade to improvise, having said that we look forward to come here every year to train them as a part of the programme," Sutcliffe told IANS when asked about his experience of training the national coaches.
The coach also said that giving away free tickets is a tradition in the United Kingdom.
"In England and Wales we distribute free tickets in tennis matches, that can be case here for football," he said.
Manchester City finished third in the English Premier League (EPL) under the club's head coach Pep Guardiola.
Although that performance is considered disappointing by quite a few fans of the former EPL champions, Sutcliffe believes that the Spainard will be a success at Manchester City.
"It has been just one season, Guardiola has been big wherever he has gone. It may take time for him here but I'm sure he will be a big success in English Premier League as well."
Sutcliffe believes that Argentine striker Sergio Aguero will remain at Manchester City the club despite him not being part of Guardiola's plans after Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus joined the club.
He also dismissed rumours that Manchester City have offered a swap deal with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.
"Aguero has been a key man for us and he will stay that way, he is not going to leave the club so early," he said.
"As far as Sanchez is concerned, he won't join us, I'm quite sure about it. He is staying at Arsenal."
(Samrat Chakraborty can be contacted at [email protected])