‘India won’t get U-17 Cup if bid fails to meet criteria’ | sports | Hindustan Times
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‘India won’t get U-17 Cup if bid fails to meet criteria’

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke reiterated that while the football’s governing body is throwing its weight behind India by backing the 2017 U-17 World Cup bid, the country must adhere to the strict criteria to get the prestigious event, HT reports.

sports Updated: Sep 07, 2012 23:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke reiterated that while the football’s governing body is throwing its weight behind India by backing the 2017 U-17 World Cup bid, the country must adhere to the strict criteria to get the prestigious event.

Speaking after a roundtable meeting with Indian football’s stakeholders at the International Football Arena here on Friday, Valcke insisted that Fifa is keen on using the U-17 World Cup as a vehicle to raise the profile of the sport in the country and bring the infrastructure up to world standards.

However, he maintained that rules wouldn’t be bent for India.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is yet to submit an official bid but according to federation sources the bid document is almost ready and eight cities (New Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and Kochi) have tentatively been earmarked as possible hosts, with many requiring the development of new stadia.

The AIFF is likely to submit its bid before the next Fifa executive committee meeting on September 26-27.

Valcke said that his team would promote India’s bid in front of the executive committee, but said there would be no half-measures. If the bid is not up to mark, they will look the other way.

“Obviously, the infrastructure will have to be top class, the six venues needed for the tournament will have to be the best. We need security guarantee from the government and then guarantees for accommodation, transport and airport facilities,” Valcke said.

“At the end of the day, for those young players taking part, this will have to be ‘the’ tournament for them. It does not matter where it is being held. So naturally, if India fails to satisfy the strict criteria, it will not host the event,” he added.