India will have to wait till 2018 to know if they get FIFA U-20 World Cup | Hindustan Times
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India will have to wait till 2018 to know if they get FIFA U-20 World Cup

After successfully hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup, India are looking to hold the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the country.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 28, 2017 00:23 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks during a dinner party in Kolkata on Friday.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks during a dinner party in Kolkata on Friday.(PTI)

India will have to wait till next year to find out whether FIFA gives them the U-20 World Cup in 2019, which could also be the last time two youth World Cups are held, said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Addressing the media after a FIFA Council meeting here on Friday, Infantino said a decision would be taken “at the beginning of next year.” Asked whether India having hosted a successful U-17 World Cup -- “resounding success” in his words -- would be factored in while weighing the bids, Infantino said: “That is one of the elements which will be considered.”

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: England, Spain final underlines Europe’s hegemony

TRIMMING SCHEDULE

After 2020, the format for youth tournaments could be altered, said Infantino. The world body is in the process of reviewing the FIFA club, youth and women’s competitions.

An annual tournament in only one age-group between 17 and 20 could be held, said the FIFA president. And it could have 48 teams for the boys and 24 for the girls.

“That will give an opportunity to smaller countries to place joint bids,” he said. A decision could be taken at the next FIFA Council meeting, in Bogota on March 15 and 16.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Familiar rivals England, Spain seek uncharted territory

Among the tournaments that could be on its last legs is the Confederation Cup. Infantino said it is possible a club competition could be held in its place. The Club World Cup, scheduled in December in the UAE, too has not had the kind of impact it was hoped for when it was started in 2000 but not held between 2001 and 04 before again becoming an annual affair.

“When FIFA embarks on something, it has to be something special. Either we find that something special or we would rather not do it,” he said.

Infantino also assured help to All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel, who sought technical help with the setting up of a National Training Centre.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil seek consolation win over Mali in 3rd place play-off

Repeatedly stressing that he had nothing to do with what happened in the past with specific reference to prosecutions that have begun in the USA, Infantino said:

“They are cases of the past and I don’t want to talk about the past. We have already thanked the USA and others who have uncovered acts of malpractice. We are working for the future with systems and reforms in place.”

World Cup prize money enhanced

For Russia 2018, FIFA has decided to increase the prize purse by 12%, said Infantino. “It will now be $400 million, from $358 million in the last edition,” he said.