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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 City Guide: Margao, Goa

Written by: Ravish R Narvekar

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After crisscrossing the streets of Delhi, our City Guides series moves west to Goa and the town of Margao, that houses its own Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Margao in Goa is one of the host cities for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 which will be held in the month of October. The western state has a good presence in Indian football and the people here are fanatics of the sport. The state has recently hosted two major international football events successfully, namely the AFC U-16 Championship and the BRICS Cup.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao will host Group C matches starting with a match between Germany and Costa Rica on 7th October followed by the game between Iran and Guinea on the same day. The next matchday is on 10th October where Costa Rica will take on Guinea in the day’s first match, followed by Iran Vs Germany. While the state will get a chance to see their favourite team Brazil on the 13th when they take on Niger. Costa Rica and Iran will play in the first match of the day.

The stadium will also host two Round of 16 matches on 17th October and a quarterfinal on 21st October. Before guiding you through the roads, potential accommodation and some do’s and don’ts, let us first understand the venue.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa up close

The stadium which is also known as Fatorda Stadium was built in 1989 initially as a football-only facility, but it has also hosted nine One Day International cricket matches.

It was renovated in 2014 to conduct the 3rd LUSOFONIA Games with all the facilities like VIP Lounges, media tribune, working stations, dope control room, medical room for the players and also buckets seats in all stands. Earlier, only the West Stand used to have bucket seats.

Currently, it is the home ground for FC Goa in the Indian Super League and has also hosted India’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in the past.

To make it easier for you, we are going to tell you exactly which seats you should be looking for. All the stands are divided as follows: Category 1 (West), 2 (North and South, end-to-end view) and 3 (East). Category 1 is unavailable as the area is reserved for VIPs and VVIPs.   

The stadium has a total of 10 gates out of which Gate 4 will be open for West Stand pass holders, Gate 5 for North Stand ticket holders, Gate 6 and 7 for East Stand ticket holders and Gate 8 and 9 will be open for South stand ticket holders.

How to get to the Stadium

Goans are famously known as “Shushegad Goykars” for their laidback lifestyle, but every Goan is very enthusiastic when it comes to football and always tries to get to the game on time. People here believe in traveling in their personal rides rather than public transport. However, JLN Stadium is in the heart of the city and getting there won’t be a big task. A railway station is just a few kilometres away from the stadium, but Goa does not have local train services or a metro. So, one has to choose between local transport and their personal vehicle.      

By Road

Buses are widely available for traveling across the state

Traveling by car will force you to park it around 500 metres away from the compound due to security reasons. Finding parking space can be another problem you might have to face. However, one can easily find space if they make it to the venue at least two hours before kickoff.

If you are traveling by public transport (bus service) then you will have to get down at Margoa KTC Bus Stand. The bus stand is just a 15-minute walk away from the stadium. Those traveling from Panjim will have to take Margao route buses, which are easily available in large numbers at the bus stands after every ten minutes.

The airport is just 22 kilometres away from the stadium and one can easily get a cab after checking out from the Dabolim Airport. However, unlike in other cities where Ola and Uber cabs are very famous, you will not find any of them in Goa. But, private cabs are always at your service for slightly more premium rates.

Bus services in the City usually end close to 7:30 PM. Khel Now suggests readers to hire non-geared scooters for Rs. 200 per day or geared ones at Rs. 300-500, the order of the day in the beach city. 


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Seeking Accommodation

Goa is not a new place to anyone in the country as well as overseas as the state hosts thousands of tourists every year. If you are planning your holidays along with some exciting football in the state, this is the perfect time as the state's tourist season starts from October and you might get accommodation at cheap rates compared to the considerably higher rates charged during Christmas and New Year.

It is very easy for anyone to get accommodation in the state as you will find many hotels and resorts in every village and town in Goa. If someone is looking for a stay in and around the stadium than the host city Margao has many options of hotels to choose from. Moreover, if you are looking for some luxurious hotels, than Panjim is the best option as the city has more than 20 lavish hotels in itself.  

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

  1. Dress comfortably as it will be very hot in the state.
  2. Carry your sunglasses, hats, umbrellas and so on for day matches.
  3. Have an Identity Proof with you at all times.
  4. Understand your ticket and its location. There are six gates of entry. You will need to know which one to access depending on your tickets.
  5. Enter hydrated and with a full stomach.
  6. Reach an hour prior to kickoff to avail the best seats and avoid hassles.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t carry any cameras, gadgets, except your mobile phone.
  2. Do not carry any eatables, cigarettes and so on. Not only will these things be confiscated at the entrance, but can go against your right to enter.
  3. Do not restrict yourself from sharing this article.

Published: Tue Sep 19, 2017 01:19 PM IST

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