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FIFA president Gianni Infantino heaps praises on Indian football in letter to Narendra Modi

Although Gianni Infantino could not meet Narendra Modi, he wishes to further discuss the development of Indian football with him.

News 06 Nov 2017, 14:34 IST

Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino

What’s the story?

FIFA president Gianni Infantino sent a small token of thanks to India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking him for all the help that the Government of India extended to FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), in order to host the recently concluded FIFA U17 World Cup.

In case you didn’t know…

The FIFA U17 World Cup came to an end last month, with England winning the summit clash against Spain by a massive 5-2 margin. Both England players, striker Rhian Brewster and midfielder Phil Foden swept the Golden Boot (highest scorer) and the Golden Ball (best player of the tournament) awards.

Heart of the matter

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino was full of praises for Modi in his letter, thanking the Prime Minister and his government for all the support that they extended for hosting the U17 Word Cup.

“I would like to congratulate your government in its role in your country’s successful hosting of the FIFA U17 World Cup , India 2017, and express my gratitude towards the Local Organising Committee, your government, and to all those who worked hard to organize this competition in the host cities,” wrote Infantino in his letter to Modi.

Infantino also expressed his sadness at not being able to meet Modi during his short visit to India during the final of the tournament.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino's letter to Narendra Modi
FIFA president Gianni Infantino's letter to Narendra Modi

“Unfortunately, much to my regret, I was not able to attend the opening ceremony of the competition and to meet you in person in New Delhi, due to other prior commitments. I am however convinced we will have the opportunity to meet in the future and exchange ideas about the approaches to developing football in your country,” wrote Infantino.

What’s next?

With the U17 World Cup over, India will look to take its footballing achievements, after already having qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The India U19 side is also currently playing in the qualifiers of the 2018 AFC U19 Championship.

Author’s take:

Despite all the progress, Indian football took a huge step backwards last week, as the Delhi High Court sacked AIFF chief Praful Patel frosm his post, and appointed YS Quraishi in his place. However, this development also attracted warning letter from FIFA, who do not tolerate any form of third-party interference with the federation, be it political, legal, or otherwise.

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