New Delhi: Stepping up efforts to meet the dual objectives of hosting the 2017 U-17 World Cup as well as qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, India on Wednesday signed an agreement with FIFA under which the football body will provide strategical and technical assistance to the AIFF.
The agreement was signed in the presence of FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and All India Football Federation president, Praful Patel.
"It's mostly about management, strategy and technical development for the future of (Indian football)," Valcke said.
According to Patel, this is to do with taking Indian football forward.
"We have a 10-year development programme called 'Lakshya'," Patel said, adding that it contains the roadmap for Indian football.
India has to submit the necessary bid files by September 26.
With various development projects being undertaken by FIFA in India, Valcke felt hosting the U-17 World Cup would be a perfect milestone.
"FIFA believes if there is one country in Asia that we need to focus, it is India. The U-17 World Cup would be a perfect milestone," the Frenchman said.
"The executive committee will meet on September 26 and 27 and then again in December. We have to receive all the files by September 26.
"We would ask the executive committee to let India host the U-17 WC in 2017. FIFA takes care of large part of finance except the infrastructure for such tournaments," he added.
Patel, too, expressed India's wish to host the event.
"India wishes to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017 in India. AIFF made a comprehensive bid document and it's almost complete. It is complex as it involves so many states, ministries and departments.
"We will be making a formal presentation to FIFA. It has to be decided by FIFA's overall committee. India's strong bid and its commitment to various developmental projects in the country would make it a strong contender," he said.