India to host 2017 U-17 World Cup

New Delhi, Dec 5 : India will host the 2017 U-17 World Cup as the FIFA Executive Committee decided to hand the Asian nation the hosting rights ahead of Ireland, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and South Africa.

The decision was taken at the FIFA Executive Committee Meeting which was held on Dec 4 and Dec 5 at Sauipe Fun Hotel, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil.

"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 (AIFF), told

"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," he said.

"Hosting a Tournament of such a stature will also help galvanise the face of Indian Football among the masses and youth of the Country. At the moment, Football is popular in certain pockets in India. With the U-17 World Cup taking place, I strongly believe that the popularity will swell overnight and the mission of making Football a pan-India sport will be realised," Patel said.

"I cannot sum it up in words what this means to Indian Football," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said.

"The entire Country has been waiting with bated breath for the final decision to be taken. I would like to thank our President Mr. Praful Patel for bringing the U-17 World Cup to India. Without him we wouldn't have got the clearances from the Government of India and the hosting rights. I'm extremely grateful to FIFA for their support and encouragement," Das added.

The tournament in which 24 teams are going to take part will be held in six venues which are to be selected from eight prospective venues -New Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati.

The FIFA U-17 World Cup kicked-off in 1985, the first edition being hosted by China.

It began as a competition for players under the age of 16 with the age limit raised to 17 from 1991 onwards.

The last edition of the tournament was hosted by the United Arab Emirates which was eventually won by Nigeria U-17 when they defeated Mexico U-17, 3-0 in the final.

The next edition is slated to be hosted in 2015 in Chile.

Since its inception in China, 2002 FIFA World Cup hosts Japan, South Korea and United Arab Emirates are the other three Asian countries to have hosted the U-17 World Cup so far.

--IBNS (Posted on 06-12-2013)

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