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2017 FIFA U17 World Cup: AIFF waiting for government approval

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in India

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in India

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is still waiting for a final approval by the Government of India for its bid to host the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup.

The AIFF announced its plans to bid for the finals in the presence of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at a press conference in March. A decision on the hosts for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup was expected at the 62nd FIFA Congress in Budapest on Thursday and Friday this week, but all interested associations are yet to submit their bids to the governing body of world football.

“The bidding of the 2017 U17 World Cup is not on the agenda of the FIFA Congress,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das told news agency PTI. Asked about the timeline for India’s bid, Das told: “There is enough time left for that as the actual event is five years from now.”

The official deadline to submit an official bid to FIFA is by the end of June according to FIFA sources and it seems like Kushal Das was not aware of it, when he made this statement to the PTI.

Talking about the commitment by the Government of India, Das continued: “The government says it is fully committed to India bidding for the 2017 U17 World Cup but it is yet to give certain guarantees and assurances which are required under FIFA rules to host an event of such magnitude.”

“We are waiting for the government to commit to these guarantees and assurances and we will formally present the bid after that,” said Das. “The government it seems has been cautious in granting these guarantees and assurances in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games scandal. But we are very hopeful of the government granting final approval for a strong bid.”

“We are also hopeful that India gets the chance to host the prestigious event,” the AIFF general secretary concluded.

Jamaica and Guetamala are the two other countries who have expressed their interest to host the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup.

One can only hope that the Government of India will give their final nod at earliest and the AIFF will be able to submit its official bid for the finals before the deadline.