In a somewhat surprise move the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has now issued a clarion call to host the prestigious FIFA club World Cup. This news comes after a week or so of India having finally submitted its official bid for the hosting of the U-17 World Cup to be held in 2017.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Kushal Das, general secretary of the Indian FA elucidated, “Encouraged by FIFA, we have decided to bid for the World Club Cup in 2015. We have already written to FIFA requesting them to let us know the details of the bidding process.”
FIFA’s words of encouragement can be traced back to 2012 when Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, paid a visit to the country.
“India are staging a serious bid to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017. Apart from that, we would also bid to host the 2015 World Club Cup. Both the Tournaments would provide an excellent opportunity for our players to rub shoulders with the best of the World,” said AIFF president Praful Patel, on the dual bids, with agreement from Blatter.
“I understand that there are challenges and limitations as well. But we will overcome all for the cause of the sport. The two bids set a target for the AIFF and also the Government of India. We stay aware of the lack of good infrastructure at the moment. But I assure you, we will overcome all.”
"Mr. Blatter, I assure you will get all the bid papers before leaving India. The AIFF will put in its best efforts to get the two tournaments," assured Patel.
“To wake up a sleeping giant you need several alarm clocks. We have set up several alarm clocks to monitor them. I am in my 30th year in FIFA and 13th year as the president. My tenure ends in 2015 but I won't leave FIFA until I see the sport established in the sub-continent of India,” replied an assuring Blatter.
Now, a year and a half after that fateful visit, India have somewhat struggled to get the development of bids for these two tournaments in motion and have recently submitted the bid for the U-17 World Cup to be held in 2017, behind Ireland, Uzbekistan and South Africa all contending nations for the same tournament.
The FIFA sponsored Club World Cup is an elite championship, though with almost $16 million in the kitty as prize money of which $5 million is awarded to the winning champions. The tournament consists of seven teams from six continents, including the winner of the host nation's league, playing for over two weeks.
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