KOLKATA — Saying they are happy to play in the World Cup and that nothing else mattered, Brazil and England Oct. 24 made light of the last-minute logistical alterations made for their FIFA U-17 semi-final due to poor pitch conditions in Guwahati.
The Oct. 25 marquee clash was originally scheduled for 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 Oct. 28.
"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 humor 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 are always the best. We expect 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.
Referring to the Oct. 28 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."
England and Brazil are both hot favorites to win the crown owing to their red-hot form throughout the tournament.