Friday, September 7, 2012

FIFA: Under-17 World Cup India Raise the Profile of the Game in a Huge Market

FIFA Under17 World Cup - Sports Jagat

World football governing body FIFA on Friday said that it wants India to host the Under-17 World Cup to raise the profile of the game in a huge market but warned that the country will not get the important event if it fails to meet the strict criteria.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said that India will have to satisfy the strict requirements for hosting the Under-17 World Cup and if the country fails in providing them, the event will go to another nation.

Valcke said: "Obviously, the infrastructure will have to be top class; the six venues needed for the game will have to be the best. We need safety promise from the government and then guarantee for accommodation, transport and airport facilities,"

"At the end of the day, for those young players taking part, this will have to be 'the' game for them. It does not matter where it is being held. So naturally, if India fails to satisfy the strict criteria, it will not host the event," he added.

Valcke was addressing reporters after a round table meeting organized by International Football Arena, which was attended by the visiting FIFA delegate, AIFF and club officials, experts, media persons and business representatives.

FIFA had signed a 10-year agreement with the AIFF on September 5, covering management plan, technical development and the strengthening of clubs and the I-League.

Valcke said that there will be no bending of rules for India to host the 2017 Under-17 World Cup but added that FIFA will be involved in India's bidding for the event.

"There will no change in rules and it will be normal bidding method with countries competing. But we want the Under-17 World Cup to go to a country where the game can be developed from the grassroot.

"India is a vast football market. A country of 1.2 billion cannot lag behind in football. We see the event as the ideal platform for the development of infrastructure and grassrrot development. We want to make football the number two sport in India in ten years," he said.

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