India likely to host FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
The AIFF is confident it will be awarded the rights to host the event.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 is at the nation's doorstep and preparations around all venues are almost done as India begins to welcome all the participating countries. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) President and the chairman of the local organising committee of the U-17 World Cup, Praful Patel met the press at an event organized in Delhi earlier this week.
“We are 100% ready for World Cup and I am very pleased to announce that the stage is set to host FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.”
It is also official that the nation has already put in a bid to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2019. Patel is hopeful that after hosting the U-17 World Cup successfully, India will be in a commanding position to win the bid and the FIFA Executive Committee will be pleased to grant the same after witnessing India's ability, enthusiasm and commitment towards the game.
“Not only that we are ready but also expect that the momentum which has been built up, I think India can be a world-class host of this event. Besides hosting this World Cup, India has formally put its weight for the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in 2019. We do expect and hope that the conduct of this World Cup (U-17) in India and with the entire FIFA Executive Committee coming to India, we will be in a position to convince FIFA of India’s ability, enthusiasm and commitments for hosting such tournaments. So, we certainly feel that the time has come for India.”
The AIFF President also announced that the entire team will continue to work together for the next few years, looking at the U-20 World Cup and also to build a strong national side in the future. While he also hinted at the possible extension of the contract of present India U-17 coach Luis Norton de Matos.
“We have already decided to continue to keep the team as one unit and may bring players in from other age groups for the next few years. We will also ask the coach to continue with us, post this tournament so that we are able to help this young crop develop into the true stars of tomorrow,”
He further added, “Today, they are untested and we are offering them a future. At the end of the day, we as a nation also want to build a strong national team and that is our endeavour. We are trying to put them on a contract and they will be rewarded reasonably well. If the national team has to do better in the future and assuming that we win the rights to host the U-20 World Cup in 2019, then, I think we are on the right track.”
Khel Now sources, close to the developments believe that India are strong contenders to win the bid for the U-20 World Cup in 2019 and that world football's governing body is happy with the AIFF’s work for U-17 World Cup and it is most likely to grant India the rights to host the event in 2019.
AIFF President Praful Patel sounds confident about India's Bid.
Meanwhile, the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifier between India and Macau has been postponed by a day to avoid a clash with an India Vs Australia T20 International. However, this is not the first time in the country that cricket is getting preference over football, but Patel believes that the scenario will change after the U-17 World Cup.
“If you have a cricket match and a football match, cricket will have more attraction towards it but that is set to change after the World Cup,” he concluded.
Published: Thu Sep 28, 2017 09:27 PM IST