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The Indian government has pledged its support for the country’s bid to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.

The Indian government has pledged its support for the country’s bid to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.

The backing of the government means that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) can now proceed with its bid, safe in the knowledge that its tilt at the tournament will be supported by basic financial guarantees from the state. Last month, FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein backed India’s bid, saying that world football’s governing body considered the country as “crucial for the growth of the game”.

“The union cabinet today gave its approval to the proposal for submitting guarantees sought by the AIFF from the government of India for their bid to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 in India,” the Indian sports ministry said. The ministry added that it had guaranteed investment for stadium upgrades and a contingency fund. “The AIFF and FIFA have agreed to bear the entire expenditure of hosting the tournament,” it added. “The amounts required are to be raised through sponsorships and other commercial agreements.”

In January, FIFA rejected the Indian government’s first proposal to host the tournament due to a lack of “specific assurances”. Last September, FIFA struck a deal with the AIFF to offer strategic and technical assistance in a bid to meet the country’s dual objectives of hosting the 2017 Under-17 World Cup and achieving qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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