New Delhi: The AIFF on Thursday welcomed the government's decision to approve its bid to host the U-17 World Cup in 2017, saying it will be a "game-changer for Indian football" provided the country eventually gets to organise the quadrennial event.
"It's a great decision, a game-changer for Indian football, provided we successfully get the under-17 World Cup," All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das told PTI.
The government today gave the go-ahead to India's ambitious bid to host the tournament that is already being backed by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
The expenses incurred in organising the event will be borne by FIFA and AIFF, but the government will take care of construction and renovation of stadiums, besides earmarking a sum of Rs 25 crore as contingency to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament.
"The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to the proposal for submitting guarantees sought by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from the Government of India for their bid to host the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under 17 World Cup Football Tournament in 2017 in India," a statement issued by the Sports Ministry said.
"While the expenditure for upgradation of stadia (Rs.95 crore) will be provided as additional central assistance to the State Governments, a sum of Rs. 25 crore is kept as a contingency to ensure smooth conduct of the tournament," it added in the statement.