Taking the first step towards ensuring smooth conduct of the 2017 Under-17 football World Cup in India, a three-member FIFA team has met officials of the Sports Ministry before leaving to inspect probable venues for the showpiece event.
"FIFA officials are already in India and they also had a meeting with Sports Ministry officials yesterday regarding the hosting of the mega tournament. They have now left for Pune which is one of the probable eight venues," an All India Football Federation official told PTI.
"Preparations have started for the tournament and we are hopeful of being in the list of final six venues," said a state association official.
The officials from the world governing body will be here for around 10 days to inspect the stadia shortlisted for the World Cup.
The officials are expected to take stock of Mumbai's Cooperage stadium over which an artificial turf has been laid under FIFA's Win in India with India's programme.
The officials will visit all the eight venues shortlisted by the All India Football Federation for the tournament. Only six stadiums will be required for the prestigious event.
The Capital's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Ambedkar Stadium are also in contention.
The other shortlisted venues are Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, Karnataka State Football Association Stadium in Bangalore, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Margao, Kochi and Guwahati and Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
Surprisingly, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, which fulfills the maximum number of FIFA criteria, was not included in the list.