India`s U-17 Football World Cup bid on track: AIFF

New Delhi: India`s preparations for a formal bid to stage the prestigious 2017 Under 17 Football World Cup is in the final stages with only the security clearance left from the hosting states, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.

Das said that the All India Football Federation has got security guarantee from four of the six states with Kerala and Maharashtra being the exceptions.

"We have got the assurance from the central government to host the Under 17 World Cup. Only security guarantee and fire safety clearance are left. Since security being the state subject, the hosting states will have to give that guarantee," Das told reporters on the sidelines of AIFF`s Platinum Jubilee celebration function here.

"We have received security guarantees from Assam, Bengal and Goa. For Delhi, the Lt. Governor will be a signatory to the bid and so no need for a security guarantee. We have to get from Kerala and Maharashtra. In case of Maharashtra, it will be delayed due to the fire in the Mantralaya," he said.

Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Margao and Kochi are expected to host the 52-match Under 17 World Cup if India wins the bid.

"There is no such deadline for the bid but we are submitting it to the FIFA as soon as possible. We are hopeful of winning the bid," he added.

Das also said that Syria and Jordan have confirmed participation in the Nehru Cup international tournament. The federation is now trying to get an African country and a team from South East Asia or Costa Rica.

"Syria and Jordan have confirmed participation. We are not sure about Nigeria. If Nigeria is not there we have sent invitation to Cameroon and also Zambia. We have also sent invite to Costa Rica, Thailand and Malaysia," he said.

The USD 2,00,000 prize-money Nehru Cup, to be held here from August 23 to September 2, will have five teams, including India.

Meanwhile, former India captain Chuni Goswami called on the AIFF to arrange more international matches for the senior and Under-22 national sides.

"The AIFF should arrange more international matches. I think the U-22 side should play at least 10 international matches and 15 matches for the senior side in a year," said Goswami, who unfurled the AIFF flag to mark the beginning of the platinum jubilee celebrations.

"We lack in exposure and experience which we can have by playing with countries like South Korea, North Korea, Iran and Iraq," said Goswami who was the captain of the 1962 Asian games gold-winning Indian team.

He asked the AIFF to associate Indian coaches with the foreign recruits to pass on the know-how.

"The AIFF has been doing a great job by appointing a technical director and the head coach from Holland, a great footballing country.

"I would urge the AIFF to associate Indian coaches with the head coach. The foreign coaches will go one day but our own will remain. They can learn the ideas and the know-how from the foreign coaches so that the baton is transferred and we can have our own coaches in long run," he said.

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