All India Football Federation has plans in place to sustain the momentum of FIFA U-17 World Cup in the country. To realize the ambitious plans of taking Indian football to the highest level in the world, India is next working on to bring the FIFA U-20 World Cup home two years later.
AIFF President Praful Patel has confirmed that India has submitted an official bid for the 2019 under-20 finals. He was speaking at a Press Conference ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, starting in India next month.
“Besides hosting this tournament (FIFA U-17 World Cup), India has formally put its bid for the World Cup U-20 to be held in 2019,” Patel told reporters.
The AIFF President also said there is no commitment towards hosting U-20 tournament and AIFF is awaiting a confirmation from world football governing body FIFA.
“We have no commitment yet, of course, because it is not yet decided at the FIFA level but we do expect and we hope that after conducting this World Cup in India and the executive FIFA committee coming to India, we would be able to convince FIFA,” the AIFF President said.
This will ensure that many of the players in the current India U-17 team will be able to participate in the U-20 World Cup as well; along with players from the current India U-18 team.
In another announcement, Patel said that the AIFF will set up a world-class National Centre of Excellence for the footballers which will be home for senior/junior men and women teams.
“We are setting up a National Training Centre of Excellence and it will be the home for the Indian national team, the women national team and for the junior teams,” Patel said.
“It may cost us upwards of (INR)100 crore. Hopefully, we will get FIFA supporting us in this initiative as much as we will reach out to private sponsors. It would have at least a couple of fields so that there is enough space. We want to host it in a place where there is more competitive sport available because you can’t be putting it in the backwaters where you won’t get teams to play competitive games,” he stated.
“A lot of talks are at an advanced stage and it is not yet finalised. As soon as the World Cup is over, we will announce the location. We hope to commence the work as early as 2018 so that it is ready in an year and a half,” he added.