AIFF to bid for 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
After the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is set to bid for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
The success of the U-17 World Cup's organisation in India in 2017 has paved the way for the AIFF to dream of bigger and better global events at the FIFA level.
The AIFF tried to bring the U-20 World Cup to Indian shores but it was later handed out to Poland for 2019.
However, according to reports, the Sports Ministry has cleared the AIFF's proposal to bid for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2020, which is set to be held in four Indian cities if approved.
The AIFF had shown interest to host the event but the FIFA sought a no-objection certificate from the Centre before accepting the bid.
The AIFF, along with the bid, also has to submit financial and organisational guarantees to FIFA for securing the tournament.
“The sports ministry has given a no-objection certificate to the AIFF which it had been asking for. They said it's a prerequisite thing to be submitted with the bid document, so the government has given them the document," the Times of India quoted sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar as saying.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das told the Telegraph India that the federation would submit its bid to FIFA by the end of this month.
However, the tournament could put a financial burden on the AIFF. The government has not cleared a Rs 50 crore financial aid, sought by the AIFF, for hosting the tournament.
This is apart from the organisational grant that the FIFA hands out to every host nation. It appears that the AIFF will renegotiate with the Centre at a later stage.
The U-17 Women's World Cup is a biennial tournament. The last edition was held in Uruguay.
India successfully hosted the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The attendance for the final between England and Spain, to the tune of more than 66,000, makes it the highest attended match ever in a U-17 tournament.
The attendance across all the matches - 1,347,143 - made the U-17 World Cup the most attended event ever, surpassing Colombia's attendance figures of 1,309,929 for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2011. It had crossed China's record of 1,230,976, set during the 1985 FIFA U-17 World Cup.