India's dream has finally come true. India will host the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017. It was decided at the FIFA executive committee meeting held on December 4 and 5 in Brazil. India won the hosting rights ahead of Ireland, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa.
Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian national football team said, "I'm very happy that we have won this bid. I always knew we would win it and knew it was a matter of time before it was announced. I am very pleased with the hardwork that the AIFF put in and a big thank you to FIFA."
“This is historic. This is what we have been waiting for. I need to thank the FIFA Executive Committee for keeping their trust on us and granting India the rights to host the 2017 U-17 World Cup,” Paful Patel, president, All India Football Federation told the association's official website. “I am also grateful to the Government of India for their support and giving us the necessary guarantees which made it possible for India to bid for the 2017 World Cup.”
Legendary Indian footballers were ecstatic about the news. “It is a great news. We are really proud that we will be hosting the World Cup. This will help the game come up in India,” former India striker IM Vijayan told dna.
“It is good for the future and a big achievement. Our junior team is outstanding and it has the ability to do very well. I am sure they will use the opportunity,” he added.
Another football great SS Narayan, who played in 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games, said: “Am really happy that the FIFA has recognised India as the venue for the World Cup. It is a very big tournament for India and we are looking forward to it,” he said. He further elaborated “Our future is definitely bright. It is a good chance since the boys will get to rub shoulders with some of the best playing nations.”
Narayan, however, warned that it should be conducted in a proper way. “It is important for the administrators to carry out the World Cup properly as whole world will be watching us. It is the start and then we should follow up with other events,” he added.