Indian government supports bid to host FIFA U-17 World Cup

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India to host FIFA U-17 World Cup?
New Delhi, Sept 25: Three days ahead of India's formal bid for the Under-17 Football World Cup in 2017, the AIFF on Monday got a shot in the arm as the central government gave its approval for hosting the prestigious event.

The news was conveyed to the AIFF in a letter, dated Sept 19, by Sports Minister Ajay Maken.

"It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that the Government supports the possibility that FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 may be staged in India," Maken said in the letter.

"Also, the Government supports the presence of FIFA and of any FIFA member associations in India in connection with the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017."

"The Government will also support all efforts that envisage the hosting and staging of FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 and those that contribute to the development of football in India," he added.

While expressing its interest for India to host the Under-17 tournament in order to raise the profile of the game in a huge market, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke had warned that the country will not get the prestigious event if it fails to meet the strict criteria.

But the AIFF can afford to breathe easy after the government's positive response.

"A detailed communication on the guarantees sought by AIFF is being conveyed to the General Secretary of the AIFF, separately, by my department," Maken said.

The AIFF had, in a letter dated Feb 1, 2012, sought declaration and guarantees from the government for hosting the tournament.

Maken said the proposal of the AIFF was examined in the sports ministry in consultations with various other ministries/departments.

A final decision on who gets to host the tournament will be taken in the FIFA executive meeting on Dec 14 in Tokyo during the World Club Championship.


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