India to make bid for FIFA Club World Cup 2015 and FIFA U-17 World Cup

Sepp Blatter alongside Mr. Praful Patel at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter's media interaction turned out to be a very charming one at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi on Friday. He stole the show with his charming presence and his words.

“My aim as the FIFA President stays to establish Football in the Continent of India,” he commented, as he repeatedly stressed on India being a “Continent rather than a country.”

Mr. Praful Patel, the President of the All India Football Federation confirmed that India would be making two significant bids as far as World Football is concerned. One will be for 2015 Club World Cup and the other will be for FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“India are staging a serious bid to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017. 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,” he mentioned.

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

Mr. Blatter who met the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the President, Mrs.Pratibha Patil during his stay in Delhi.

Regarding India's bid for the two mammoth events, Mr. Blatter strategically quoted, “FIFA stay a democratic setup. Both are positive developments no doubt. But it’s upto the FIFA Executive Committee to decide,”

“I have been closely following the development of football in India. The FIFA Development Office is presently based in Delhi and the setting up of the Regional and the Elite Academies are a step in the right direction.”

“I had referred to India as the Sleeping Giant during my last visit to India in 2007. But I know, the giant has started to wake up,” he opined.

Mr. 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,” he reiterated.
“The Prime Minister wants to see India as one of the Premier Footballing Nations. Nothing can be more inspirational for Indian football.”

Mr. Blatter summed up the mood: “There cannot be World Football without India.”
Mr Zhang Jilong, the Acting President of the Asian Football Confederation was also present on the occasion.

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