Kolkata: With an eye on developing infrastructure for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, to be hosted by India, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said her government was willing to give land to build an 'international standard' football stadium.
Felicitating Indian Super League (ISL) champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) at a ceremony here, Banerjee also announced handing over the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for development purposes for the mega event.
"Let us develop the infrastructure for the U-17 World Cup from now itself. We are happy to announce that we are ready to hand over the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium to the AIFF. Besides that, it will be really great if we can develop an international stadium at Rajarhat," Banerjee said.
"We have the Salt Lake stadium for football and the Eden Gardens for cricket. So, I would urge Atletico to develop an international stadium in Rajarhat where we are ready to provide you land," Banerjee said at the event where besides several footballers, the AIFF president Praful Patel was also present.
"You have made entire Bengal proud by winning the ISL. I take this opportunity to urge you for developing the new stadium. Come to us with all the relevant documents and we will ensure the procedures are formalised as early as possible," Banerjee said pointing towards ATK co-owner Sanjiv Goenka, who was present at the ceremony.
Hailing the ATK players, Banerjee said the victory would inspire the young generation and said it was her dream to see Kolkata hosting a FIFA World Cup match some day.
"We exist because of our dreams. My dream is to see Kolkata hosting a match of the World Cup. We have in us to give to the world our own Peles and Maradonas. It is just that budding talents need to identified at an early age and nurtured accordingly," she said.