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Is Indian Football ready for Sepp Blatter?

It is a provocative question, but it has to be asked then friends at FIFA reiterate again and again the point that the world football governing body would like to see a strong India amongst the footballing nations, first in Asia and then the world. Thi...

It is a provocative question, but it has to be asked when our friends at FIFA reiterate again and again the point that the world football governing body would like to see a strong India amongst the footballing nations, first in Asia and then the world. This simply has to do with the growing market that the India economy is for FIFA and world football.

Now FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter is back in India, nearly four years after his first visit in April 2007 to Kolkata and New Delhi. Now Mr. Blatter is not in India on a courtesy call or a simple visit to one of the 208 member nations. He is in India to see for himself where the nation stands, interact with the football authorities to get a personal feel of football in India.

Surely the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup is something which could push the development of Indian football, but who would fund and organise/coordinate the development of necessary infrastructure – stadia, hotels, roads and airports if 24 national youth teams from around the world come to India with six cities having to host one of the groups?

India surely has shown with the 2011 Cricket World Cup and the first-ever Formula 1 race at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida that if sports on a large scale is organised privately it can succeed, the counter example is the 2010 Commonwealth Games which was organised by the government.

Mr. Blatter and FIFA will know all the above facts, so lets see if our football authorities can convince them that they are a capable lot…

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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