As India is set to host the U-17 World Cup in October this year, AIFF president Praful Patel is already looking towards the future, indicating that India would be interested in hosting the U-20 World Cup in 2019.
An expression of interest to host the tournament was submitted to FIFA on Tuesday, July 6th, with Patel saying that hosting the tournament would be the next “logical step for the development of football in India.” The format of the U-20 World Cup is the same as the U-17 World Cup, with six venues hosting 24 teams. The U-17 World Cup will be held later this year from October 6 – 28.
Speaking about the expression of interest, Patel said, “With India hosting the Fifa U-17 World Cup India 2017 this year in October, we feel hosting the U-20 World Cup would be the best way to sustain the footballing momentum in India. Even though the event was held earlier this year in Asia in Korea Republic, we would be happy to discuss with Fifa about the possibility of hosting the event in India in 2019.”
“We have told the Fifa Competitions Committee that we are keen to host the event at the earliest available opportunity in 2019, and this will further give a boost to our grassroots initiatives.”