India set to submit U-17 FIFA World Cup bid documents
New Delhi: The uncertainty over India presenting its bid documents to host the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup before the stipulated deadline ended on Friday with the government furnishing the required guarantees so that AIFF can submit the documents to the sport`s world governing body.
With just a few days left before FIFA closes the bidding process, there was speculation that India may not be able to submit the final bid documents before the November 15 deadline due to delay by various ministries in giving the necessary guarantees.
The bidding countries are required to submit written guarantees on tax exemptions for broadcasters and sponsors, foreign exchange remittances, security, transport and accommodation of players, and visa, among others.
But the Sports Ministry yesterday got the clearance from several ministries regarding the guarantees required to present the final bid documents to the FIFA, which will decide the host country in its Executive Committee meeting next month.
"We have got the clearances from several ministries on the guarantees the FIFA requires from bidding countries. We have sent the guarantee documents signed by the concerned ministry authorities to the AIFF. The AIFF can now submit them to the FIFA," a top Sports Ministry official told PTI.
"The guarantees were on eight different heads including security, tax exemption, foreign currency inflow," he added.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das confirmed that the ministry has handed the guarantees to the federation.
"We have received the guarantee documents from the Ministry and so we are submitting to the FIFA. Let us see what happens," he said.
The countries wishing to host the mega event were required to submit a declaration of interest by May 15 and submit the hosting agreement with the complete Bid Book by November 15. The final decision on the host country will be taken at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting next month.
Three other nations -- South Africa, Ireland and Uzbekistan -- have already submitted their bids.
India's chances of winning the hosting right is strong as it was FIFA which mooted the idea of the country hosting the mega event. The world body felt that if India can host the mega event, it could go a long way in lifting the profile of the game in the second most populous country in the world.
In a visit to the country, FIFA President Sepp Blatter and then his secretary Jerome Valcke, have supported India hosting the event, provided it builds the required infrastructure and facilities.
Earlier in June, the government had given the go-ahead in in principle to India's bid to host the mega event. The Prime Ministers Office had also cleared it.
While the expenses of hosting the event will be borne by FIFA and AIFF, the government has assured additional financial assistance.
"While the expenditure for upgradation of stadia (Rs 95 crore) will be provided as additional central assistance to the State Governments, a sum of Rs 25 crore is kept as a contingency to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament," the Ministry had said in a statement.
"AIFF and FIFA have agreed to bear the entire expenditure of hosting the tournament. The amounts required are to be raised through sponsorships and other commercial agreements," it had said.