New Delhi: FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Wednesday challenged cricket's unparalleled popularity in India, saying football will be the country's numero uno sport within the next 10 years.
"We cannot imagine football not being the number 1 sport in India in the next 10 years, sorry for cricket," Valcke said here.
Valcke is here to review the progress of various development projects being undertaken by the world football's governing body.
"Our main objective is to develop domestic football and bring it to the international level so that people take interest in watching Indian domestic league and not only the English Premier League.
"We want to improve the infrastructure as well. India is a large market and I cannot believe 1.2 billion people only playing just cricket," the 51-year-old Frenchman said.
Valcke believed India hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017 will give the sport a huge boost here.
"This is the reason we want the U-17 World Cup in 2017 to take place in India. We aim to host World Cups in countries where football development is needed. India stays our primary area of focus.
"We recognise the importance of India, that' why we moved the regional office to India. It has to be one of the central points in Asia to develop football."
He made it clear that FIFA was not looking for any monetary gains.
"We are not looking for return of investments from India. We are not looking for money to come from India. FIFA has got good financial structure.
"The goal is to have a strong national team for India by 2022 World Cup. I have a feeling that we are all on the same page."