AIFF President Praful Patel on Thursday expressed extreme satisfaction at India’s organization of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the tournament wrap-up press conference in Kolkata.
Patel was joined by Tournament Director Javier Ceppi and Head of FIFA tournament Jaime Yarza in the presser.
The AIFF President, who is also the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), told the media that India had justified its bid to host the U17 World Cup and that it was now ready to play host to the finest tournaments in world football.
“I am extremely, delighted and satisfied. It was our dream project to host the World Cup. It was a success both in terms of infrastructure, organisation. India has arrived in the world of football and we are ready to host the finest tournaments,” Patel said.
Patel remarked that the World Cup had been one of the most watched tournaments in the Under-20 and Under-17 level. Attendances at the tournament have been staggering and India is on course to break the attendance records of the inaugural tournament in China in 1985.
“The U17 World Cup 2017 is the most watched tournament at the U17 or U20 level. I am really happy and proud,” he said.
The AIFF President had revealed before the start of the tournament that India have bid for the rights to host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2019. On Thursday he remarked that he will be using the FIFA executive committee meeting in Kolkata on Friday to champion India’s bid.
“We have bid for the U20 World Cup to be held in 2019. I don’t know the result yet but I will use all the goodwill. I will be attending the FIFA executive committee meeting tomorrow. I will use this opportunity for the future of Indian football,” Patel remarked.