After weeks of delay in getting the papers processed, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has finally submitted the necessary documents to FIFA and launched a formal bid for the 2017 under-17 football World Cup.
The AIFF managed to procure the necessary documents and guarantees from the government — both central and state — required under the FIFA guidelines. “We have sent the papers to FIFA a couple of weeks ago. They will scrutinise it and make a decision during their executive committee meeting in Tokyo on December 30,” the federation’s general secretary Kushal Das told DNA on Saturday.
Das added he was confident that the tournament would be awarded to India but said it could not be called a ‘bid’. “FIFA wants us to host it as part of their developmental plan in India. It’s not like there are three or four countries vying for it and a winner will be chosen. So it can’t be called a bid. We have submitted all the papers to them. They wanted it in a specific order to make sure all the necessary things (visa processing, security clearances, etc) are assured by the government. If they need something more specific, they’ll let us know and we’ll make sure it’s done,” Das said.
The AIFF has got the necessary assurances from the centre and the state governments of the proposed host cities. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Margao and Kochi are expected to host the 52-match tournament if India win the bid.