India`s bid for U-17 World Cup not discussed in FIFA meeting

New Delhi: The final word on India`s chances of hosting the Under-17 football World Cup will not be out before March next year as the sport`s governing body, FIFA, did not take a call on the country`s bid in its last executive committee meeting, held in Tokyo.

"This was not part of the agenda in this meeting," Shaji Prabhakaran, Regional Development Officer at FIFA, told PTI today.

Prior to the two-day meeting, the last of the year, it was reported that FIFA would finalise India`s bid for hosting the tournament which, if happens, will give the sport a major boost in the country. The recent meeting was held on the sidelines of the Club World Cup.

The next meeting of FIFA`s executive committee will be held in Zurich on March 20 and 21.

Even though the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had submitted its bid within the deadline after getting the approval of the central and state governments, FIFA`s general secretary Jerome Valcke, during his visit to country earlier this year, had warned that the country will not get the prestigious event if it fails to meet the strict criteria.

The AIFF will have to ensure world-class infrastructure if it wants to stage the event as Valcke had reiterated that there will be no compromise on infrastructure and organisational aspects.

Considering the huge market, FIFA has said on several occasions that it wants India to host the event so as to raise the profile of the sport in the country.

Six cities have already been identified for the quadrennial event.


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