World football’s governing body Fifa will on Sunday entrust with India the right to host the third-most important event on its calendar -- the Under-17 World Cup India 2017 -- at the closing ceremony of the 16th U-17 World Cup in Chile.
The final of the 2015 U-17 World Cup will be played between Nigeria and Mali at Viña del Mar at 3.30am on Saturday.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) looks upon this as an important step towards building the sport in India. With 24 countries playing 52 matches, the tournament is scheduled to be played across six world-class Fifa certified venues in India. “We are proud to host the third most coveted international football tournament in the world and the biggest ever in Indian history,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said.
“This is a matter of national pride as we help create world class infrastructure, bring in professional planning and execution and deliver the best possible tournament to India’s football lovers. We see this as the onset of a ‘Football Revolution’ in India.”
AIFF president Praful Patel said: “This is historic. Hosting a tournament of such stature will help galvanise the face of Indian football among the masses and youth of the country.”