x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Mumbai stadium gets fire safety clearance to host World Cup matches

There were doubts after the ground authorities failed to comply to safety standards despite four visits and the Eden Gardens fiasco.

Mumbai's newly-renovated Wankhede Stadium has cleared fire safety standards and is fit to host World Cup matches, according to a news report.

Officials from the Mumbai Fire Brigade who inspected the stadium on Tuesday said the venue had complied with all the fire safety norms, the Indian news agency Press Trust of India said.

"We have given them a compliance certificate. They can host matches. The stadium is safe and secure," AN Shinde, Mumbai's deputy chief fire officer, said.

Last week, the fire department officials had given match organisers a scare when they declared that they were unhappy with the fire safety system at the venue. Wankhede Stadium, which seats around 45,000 spectators, is the venue for three World Cup matches, including the final on April 2.

Allaying fears about the stadium, World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty said Sunday that security would not be compromised and that all fire safety norms would be met.

Shinde said fire officials had made four rounds of inspections of the stadium before issuing a "no objection certificate."

The Mumbai Fire Brigade would also have fire trucks, water tankers and firefighters posted at the stadium during the matches, he said.

Wankhede will also host two group matches - New Zealand vs Canada on March 13 and New Zealand vs Sri Lanka on March 18.

The state government of Maharashtra has also asked the International Cricket Council to pay for the extra security they have requested for players at World Cup matches in Mumbai and Nagpur, a top official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak.

The ICC have sought enhanced security in Mumbai and Nagpur, said the state official, in the wake of a terror attack by Pakistan-based Islamic militants in 2008 that killed 166 people.



The ICC have scrapped plans for an online purchasing system for the World Cup final after it crashed on its opening day, and will now arrange for a lottery instead.

None of the 1,000 tickets available could be sold on Monday after the system went down almost immediately after opening for business. Millions of fans tried to buy tickets for the April 2 final in Mumbai's newly-renovated Wankhede Stadium.

Only 3,000 tickets will be sold to the public. The remainder of the 33,000 tickets will be shared by more than the 300 clubs affiliated to the local cricket body and the Indian board and the ICC.

Ratnakar Shetty, the tournament director, said these tickets will be now given away through an online draw system. "They (ICC) will very soon send out a date and time whereby people can apply online for the tickets. Later, after a draw is held those winning their bids will be asked to buy the same online," Shetty told the AP.

"Also, no one person can buy more than two tickets."

The MCA will sell only 3,000 tickets to the public through website/window sales.