The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal for submitting guarantees sought by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from the Government of India for their bid to host the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under 17 World Cup Football Tournament in 2017 in India. The FIFA Under 17 World Cup is a prestigious event and would be held in India for the first time, if the AIFF succeeds in its bid.
The AIFF have proposed holding of matches in five States, namely Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and one among the States of Assam, Goa and Kerala.
While the expenditure for upgradation of stadia (Rs.95 crore) will be provided as additional central assistance to the State Governments, a sum of Rs. 25 crore is kept as a contingency to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament. AIFF and FIFA have agreed to bear the entire expenditure of hosting the tournament. The amounts required are to be raised through sponsorships and other commercial agreements.
The proposed Under-17 World Cup would encourage more youngsters to participate in sports and also help develop the sport of football in the country. It will also promote tourism in the country. The event also has a lot of importance from the point of view of playing technique, training, coaching and competition exposure, etc., especially at under-17 level, and thus would be good for the future of football in India.