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The world governing body for football are to inspect the stadiums before awarding the hosting rights for the U-17 World Cup to India…

The world governing body for football are to inspect the stadiums before awarding the hosting rights for the U-17 World Cup to India…

Jerome Valcke, the FIFA general secretary, made it clear that India will have to adhere to the expected norms if they hope to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017.

While FIFA officials have stated that they do want India to host the prestigious event in order to improve the infrastructure and grassroots, India will certainly have to raise their standards and meet the required criterion.

"There will no change in rules and it will be normal bidding process with countries competing. But we want the Under-17 World Cup to go to a country where the game can be developed from the grassroot.

"India is a huge football market. A country of 1.2 billion cannot lag behind in football. We see the event as the perfect platform for the development of infrastructure and grassroots development. We want to make football the number two sport in India in ten years," he said at the Roundtable organised by International Football Arena (IFA) at Delhi.

India have to submit their bid before FIFA Executive Committee meeting scheduled for September 26-27. Valcke insisted that the infrastructure has to be top class and if India’s bid isn’t up there, they will have little option but to look elsewhere.

"Obviously, the infrastructure will have to be top class, the six venues needed for the tournament will have to be the best. We need security guarantee from the government and then guarantee for accommodation, transport and airport facilities. The talks with sports minister (Ajay Maken) have been positive and he promised all support.”

"At the end of the day, for those young players taking part, this will have to be 'the' tournament for them. It does not matter where it is being held. So naturally, if India fails to satisfy the strict criteria, it will not host the event,” he warned.

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