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Blatter: There can't be World Football without India!

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter on his South Asian tour is currently in New Delhi. During the day he met President of India Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss football's future before sitting down with the AIFF top brass.Blatt...

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter on his South Asian tour is currently in New Delhi. During the day he met President of India Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss football’s future before sitting down with the AIFF top brass.

Blatter has over the last few years said, again and again around the world that India is the sleeping giant of football, which he now see’s to be waking-up.

“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,” said Blatter.

He went on to state, “India playing a part for the development of World Football!”

AIFF president Praful Patel announced that India would be making two significant bids as far as world football is concerned. “India are staging a serious bid to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017,” Praful Patel said to the media. “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,” the AIFF president maintained.

“I understand that there are challenges and limitations as well. But we will overcome all for the cause of the sport,” Praful Patel added.

Sepp Blatter did not make any comment on the above moves of the AIFF as he diplomatically said, “FIFA stay a democratic setup. Both are positive developments no doubt. But it’s upto the FIFA Executive Committee to decide.”

Praful Patel added, “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.”

“The Prime Minister wants to see India as one of the premier Footballing nations. Nothing can be more inspirational for Indian football.”

Patel told Blatter that he would get all the bid papers before leaving the country.

Sepp Blatter summed up the mood, “There cannot be world football without India,” as the 75-year-old Swiss was accompanied by two FIFA executive committee members Zhang Zilong (Acting President of the Asian Football Confederation), and Manilal Fernando.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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