Sports Ministry backs AIFF's bid to host U-20 World Cup
Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Thursday backed AIFF's expression of interest to host the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2019, saying the ministry will always encourage hosting of international tournaments in the country. Bracing up to organise the U-17 World Cup in October, AIFF president Praful Patel recently said that they would be happy to discuss with FIFA about the possibility of hosting the event in India in 2019.
"AIFF is contemplating on it. Whenever there will be a proposal from the Federation, we will look into it. We always want that the country to host as many international tournaments as possible," Goel told reporters on the sidelines of the CII Scorecard 2017 event here. In other issues, the Indian badminton players, including P Kashyap and H S Prannoy, had asked for help from the Ministry of External Affairs and Sports Ministry to get their passports in time to participate at the Canada Open and US Open. Ahead of Indonesia Open also, shuttlers such as N Sikki Reddy and Manu Attri had to go through a similar ordeal when their passport arrived just a day ahead of their departure for the tournament.
Asked if the Ministry is doing anything about it, Goel said: "Players selection and all these issues are in federation's hand but nobody has contacted me or complained to me. If there is a complaint or anything regarding it, I personally will look into it, and about the issue, I have been informed that we had intervened in that."
Goel, who completed his one year in office on Thursday, said there are a number of things he wishes to work on in the next one year. "I have a number of targets, including launching the national sports portal, getting 1000 scholarships for sporting talents, bringing sports under concurrent list this year, making sports part of compulsory education," he said.
The Sport Minister reiterated the initiatives taken by his ministry and sought the support of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). "We need to create an atmosphere and culture of sports in India. We are taking a lot of initiatives but we need the support of CII," he said.
"We have to ensure that there is no duplication or overlapping of support for one athlete and also instead of showering all the money after they win medals, it is important to provide them the support before they achieve success."