January 14 – All India Football Federation president Praful Patel (pictured) has said that Indian football will enjoy “global recognition” by staging the U-17 Women’s World Cup this year.
Patel spoke at the AIFF’s annual general meeting. “In 2020, we host FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup which will provide global recognition to Indian football,” said Patel. “You need to go back to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 to understand the impact which it had in Indian football society, and also among FIFA and AFC.”
Two years ago, India staged a FIFA finals for the first time with the U-17 Men’s World Cup. The tournament was a sporting success and local organisers pointed at the huge crowds to emphasize the popularity of the game in India, but the finals left little of a tangible legacy for domestic football.
In India, youth football remains chronically underdeveloped. The hosts strung together a team that failed to progress from the first round in 2017 and India’s renewed whirlwind approach to bringing a team quickly together for this year’s finals will further highlight how the grassroots are lacking.
Patel, however, appealed to the world federation FIFA and the AFC for “active support”.
“We have encountered many challenges and have come a long way,” said Patel. “But we have to do much better. We need active support, cooperation from each State Association, the associate members as well as the support of parent body FIFA and AFC to scale to newer heights.”
The U-17 Women’s World Cup will run in November. Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar have been appointed as host cities. Spain are the defending champions after triumphing in two years ago in Uruguay.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1579972903labto1579972903ofdlr1579972903owedi1579972903sni@o1579972903fni1579972903