The focus of the global sporting community will soon be on India as they host and play their first ever FIFA tournament come October. The FIFA U-17 World Cup is set to kickstart with two matches on October 6 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi where India will be taking on USA.India will then take on Colombia on October 9 and will face Ghana on October 12 at the same venue.Current senior World Cup champions Germany are placed in Group C while Brazil and Spain are both in Group D.Group F can be considered the group of death with Iraq, Mexico, Chile and England pitted against each other.The final will be played on 28th October at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.Photo Credit: FIFA The preparations for the tournament are in full swing. With just a little over a month to go, the excitement is building up and tournament director Javier Ceppi talked exclusively to IndiaToday.in regarding the preparations, ticket sales and more.WATCH VIDEOExcerpts:Q: Take us through the preparations of the U-17 World Cup.A: It’s only a little over one month left for the tournament now but we started a long time back in November 2014. We did an analysis of all the venues. We are extremely happy to say at this point of time, the core infrastructure is in place. The things that are not in place were never going to be, like painting of the stadiums because we don’t want the monsoon to ruin the paint, gardening and landscaping but most of the areas are complete. It looked hard at one point of time but all the stakeholders stepped up their game and it’s looking good as of now.advertisement????Wow, New Dehli!???250,000 visitors to the #FIFAU17WC Trophy Experience!???We can’t wait till the real action kicks off on 6 October pic.twitter.com/6XAU12L1dK- FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 20, 2017Q: What were the reasons for choosing Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata as the venue for the final?A: To be the venue of a final, you have to comply with a number of things. For example, the final is also hosting the referees and for them, two extra training grounds are needed side by side. Kolkata was the only one that could provide us with that. You need five-star hotels close to the stadium because that’s where the FIFA headquarters is going to be and Kolkata hired hotels right next to the stadium. Another thing that we consider very important is the full and unrestricted support of the state government and we got that from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She said that ‘for us FIFA U-17 World Cup is the single most important thing that has happened in the city in terms of sporting events and we will make sure that the tournament happens correctly’. That was the level of support. When they were going for the renovations in the stadium, they didn’t allow the ISL to happen there because it would have impacted the work. Also, the passion of Kolkata was of course taken into consideration and no wonder, that all the seats for the final have been sold out.Q: What about the ticket sales in New Delhi since India is going to be playing here?A: The sales have been good. I don’t think that any other sporting event that has happened in this country has been able to say that three months before the tournament, a 100,000 tickets have been sold. The pattern of purchase of the Indians is much closer to the event. We have kept the ticket prices very affordable because we want the people to come to the stadium. The sales have shaped up nicely but we still appeal to the people of Delhi and Indian football fans to keep purchasing tickets for India matches because there might not be tickets available soon. India are playing in a FIFA World Cup for the first time and it will be a first when the Indian national anthem plays in a FIFA World Cup. We need full stadium for the India matches. Chile won the Copa America because they were playing at home and 47,000 people sang the national anthem before the match. Chile may not have been better player to player but had the drive and the Indian national team needs that drive. It needs to draw from its 12th man, needs that passion from the crowd.Q: How is the Indian team shaping up?advertisementA: India drew against Chile (in the four-nation series of an exposure trip) and that is a massive result. That is the best result of an Indian national team in a long time. Chilean senior side are ranked 7th in the world and they were the runners up from South America. India drawing against them with one player less makes a huge statement. However, results are secondary. It is the first time that India will participate in any FIFA event and the most important thing will be for the team to make the country proud. They need to give their best on the pitch because then even if they lose they’ll know they have given their all.India U-17 national team (Photo Credit: AIFF) Q: Your inputs on the request by the Indian government for an opening ceremony and the reports that FIFA have declined it.A: I want to clarify that it’s not like FIFA has asked the Indian government to not conduct an opening ceremony. What we have said that it’s not a part of the protocol of the U-17 World Cup. We have got the request from the government and we are trying to see how, if at all, it can be accommodated. We have only said that it’s not a usual part of the tournament but the government considers it important so let’s see if we can make it happen. It’s operationally complicated because for the senior World Cup, it’s a single match on the day whereas U-17 have double headers. So it is extremely complicated to match everything with team warm-up sessions and with the matches one by one.In 50 days, ????India will host its first ever FIFA tournament! #FIFAU17WC We can’t wait! https://t.co/18fTgOtGjt pic.twitter.com/n4dZ3oAyGD- FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 17, 2017Q: Your thoughts on the refereeing panel, which will be seeing female referees for the first time but there are no Indians.A: I can’t comment on the choosing pattern because that doesn’t fall under my capabilities I would say. What I can say is it’s historical that there are women referees and it works quite well for the tournament. It’s a huge innovation and we are extremely grateful to FIFA for making it happen.