NEW DELHI: 29,358 football enthusiasts between the age of 18 and 72 submitted their applications by the closing of the registration process for the Volunteer Programme of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 on 15 May 2017. The figure represents one of the highest ever for a volunteer initiative in India’s history and is the highest figure ever received in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Interest from international applicants was equally immense, with the Local Organising Committee receiving applications from 84 countries in total. New Delhi drove the way with 11.83% of the total registrations. Kochi was the clear winner for City of Choice with 38.27%, followed by Delhi and Mumbai with 16.95% and 13.69% respectively.

Thanking everyone for the overwhelming response, President of All India Football Federation and Chairman of the LOC, Praful Patel said, “The response to the Volunteer Programme has been so heartening to see, I thank everyone who has registered to be a Volunteer for this landmark moment in Indian football. With the same enthusiasm and support of these volunteers, we are confident of making this a tournament worth remembering for everyone”.

The registration process is now closed and over the next six weeks, the LOC will be conducting interviews with applicants who will be shortlisted based on the application submitted. The shortlisted applicants will be informed in due course via email.

Speaking about the selection process of the volunteers, Tournament Director Javier Ceppi added, “The quantity, as well as the quality of the applications received, has been remarkable. The competition will be tough and I urge all the shortlisted applicants to put their best foot forward during the interviews. Also, we have created a unique form of digital Volunteering through which e-Volunteers will be able to support the tournament anytime and anywhere by being part of an exclusive digital community which will be administrated by the LOC, they will play a big role in ensuring that ‘Football Takes Over’ the social media space in the country. 7,925 of the total applicants have expressed interest in being an e-Volunteer, upon carefully reviewing their applications the LOC will notify the shortlisted e-Volunteers. Several other applicants will also be given chance to be associated with the tournament by Volunteering at the Official Draw, the Trophy Experience and the legacy programme Mission XI Million. We now look forward to welcoming the Volunteers who will become an integral part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017”.

Approximately 1,500 volunteers will be involved in hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 across the six host cities. The tournament begins on October 6th. Those who do not get a chance to be part of this history as Volunteers should not loose heart and ensure they book their place in history by getting the match tickets which are now available online.

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