Millennium Post

Govt yet to give final approval for 2017 U-17 Football WC bid

The All India Football Federation will have to wait a little longer to make an official presentation to the FIFA to host the 2017 U017 World Cup as the government is yet to give its final approval to the bid.

The AIFF had all along been saying that a decision on whether India will host the 2017 Under-17 World Cup will be known in the 24-25 May FIFA Congress at the Hungarian capital of Budapest but it is now learnt that India is yet to officially bid for the event.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das told PTI that India will present the official bid after the government agrees to give 'certain guarantees and assurances'.

'The government says it is fully committed to India bidding for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup but it is yet to give certain guarantees and assurances which are required under FIFA rules to host an event of such magnitude,' he said.

'We are waiting for the government to commit to these guarantees and assurances and we will formally present the bid after that,' he added.

Reports said that Jamaica and Guetamala have also expressed their interest to host the event but no country has presented a formal bid as yet.

Das said the FIFA Congress will not discuss the matter.

'The bidding of the 2017 Under 17 Football World Cup is not on the agenda of the FIFA Congress,' he said.

Asked about the deadline to present the bid, he said, 'There is enough time left for that as the actual event is five years from now.'

But sources said the deadline for presenting a formal bid is the end of June.

The proposal for India to bid for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup had come from the FIFA itself with its chief Sepp Blatter openly calling the country to grab the opportunity but in the backdrop of Commonwealth Games corruption scandal, the government has apparently been cautious in committing itself.

'The government it seems has been cautious in granting these guarantees and assurances in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games scandal. But we are very hopeful of the government granting final approval for a strong bid,' Das said.

'We are also hopeful that India gets the chance to host the prestigious event,' he said.

If India wins the bid, its national team will get an automatic berth in the tournament.

The 2013 edition of the event, in which 24 teams will play 52 matches, is being held later this year in the United Arab Emirates and the 2015 tournament will be hosted by Chile.
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