World Cup teams’ training schedule disrupted by heavy rain

Kolkata: Rain played havoc with the preparations of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Group F teams on Monday as Chile had to cancel their training schedule while Mexico braved torrential downpour and impediments on the way to rehearse ahead of their next two games here.

England had a truncated session while Iraq trained at around 6 p.m. when the severity of the downpour had decreased.

“No practice today. It has been cancelled due to rain and security reasons,” Chile media manager Waleska Fuchslocher told IANS when asked about their programme for the day.

“The players had a gym session,” she added.

FIFA was also left in a quandary, it was learnt, as to whether teams are training or not. A communique from the world football’s governing body first said all three sessions of England (closed door), Chile and Iraq had been called off, Later, a fresh release said only Chile was not training for the day.

Before Mexico’s practice session, a small tree fell onto the ground at the Sports Authority Of India (SAI) training centre. A fencing also collapsed along with the tree but no damage was done, a source working with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) said.

“A little tree fell on the ground before we came to training. However, it did not affect us at all. We were training in the middle and the little tree was on the side,” Valvanera Garcia, the media manager of the Mexico football team said in a statement.

England, who recorded a convincing 4-0 win on Sunday against Chile, had only a handful of players turning up at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan practice ground. The training lasted an hour.

“Our training went ahead today,” confirmed England media manager Amy Hart.

Meanwhile, Chile, who had complained about the sultry weather conditions, said the drop in mercury due to the heavy rain won’t help their cause.

Chile were humbled 4-0 by the English on Sunday.

Chile team doctor Cesar Kalazich had previously said they are avoiding Indian food and checking on their players’ weight and urine colour twice a day to see if they are getting dehydrated or not.

Flight and train movements were hit, major thoroughfares were water-logged and traffic snarls reported as heavy rain accompanied by squally winds lashed the city and southern districts of West Bengal on Monday.

The rain and wind uprooted trees in many areas of northern and southern parts of the city. The weather department said the inclement weather was triggered by a deep depression formed over Gangetic West Bengal and adjoining north Bay of Bengal.