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India to make a bid for hosting football World Cup: Kalmadi

sports Updated: Nov 28, 2009 23:08 IST

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday said, given the popularity of soccer in India, and the fact that the country will soon have international class stadias, India will soon make a bid to host the Football World Cup.

A trifle ambitious, it may seem, going by the titters of laughter the claim made among the Indian reporters covering the press conference.

But foreign journalists said they wouldn't put it past India to whip up a magic wand and make it possible.

"You guys just manage to make the impossible possible. Look what you do on the cricket field."

Urban Development Secretary Sindhushree Khullar, who is also here at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, dismissed fears that India may not be ready with infrastructure when it is time for the games to begin.

Khullar said: "We are very confident. There were initial glitches with design issues, regulatory clearances and getting the funds cleared. Now, we are in a stage of counting the final bricks going into place."

Kalmadi added that clearance from international federations were late in coming, which delayed the construction process.

"Our budgets were low initially and there was the hassle of coordinating with several government agencies including international federations, so we had problems. But that is all resolved. We will match, if not better, Melbourne standards. These will be the best Commonwealth Games ever," Kalmadi claimed.

Asked about the traffic snarls the Games might cause in New Delhi, Khullar was quite candid in saying that there would be traffic congestion, but elaborate plans have been put in place to make the common man's life less of a hassle. Offices might be asked to shut down on the 14th.

Snarls will be the most on the opening and closing day but on other days the dedicated traffic lanes should be able to handle the traffic. People have been advised not to bring personal vehicles and use the buses and metros to reach the venues, he added.

"Environment is a critical component today. Recognising this, we will strive towards reducing the carbon footprint to establish the first ever green Commonwealth Games, and thus, become the benchmark for all multi-disciplinary games in the future," Kalmadi said.

Regarding the phenomenal budget figures and how the country plans to recover the money spent, Kalmadi said: "India is on a strong wicket with regard to getting sponsorships."

He also said that the timing of the events have been selected in such a manner as to optimise sponsorship generation.

According to Kalmadi it’s a win-win situation for India.

Listing the benefits, Kalmadi said that the creation of 2.5 million jobs and the economic impact of approximately 4.5 million dollars (£2.7 million) for India over a period from 2008 to 2012, investment in green infrastructure, pro-active waste management, greening and offset, and green ceremonies were some of the positives of it.