India is a football country now, says FIFA chief Infantino
Kolkata: "India is a football country now," FIFA president Giani Infantino declared after arriving here to chair the FIFA Council meeting on Friday and attend the U-17 World Cup final.
Asked about th e successful organistion of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 47-year-old clad in a dark suit said: "Thank you very much all the Indians. That's most important. It's a great pleasure to here."
The All India Football Federation vice-president Subrata Dutta received Infantino at the airport and later in the day he will have an informal meeting with the AIFF supremo Praful Patel who is also staying at the same hotel on EM Bypass.
According to sources, there could be discussions on India's bid for the U-20 World Cup in 2019, chances of which have brightened after the overwhelming success of U-17 World Cup which is all set to topple China-1985 as the best attended event in the tournament's history.
"While that appears to be the advantage the only drawback is that the FIFA has never allowed back to back World Cup events to one country. But with FIFA Council meeting here, it can be ratified," an official with the local organising committee said.
The meeting tomorrow will also have discussions on the implementation of the contentious video assistant referee technology in Russia World Cup 2018 with the FIFA president keen on it.