New Delhi: FIFA on Wednesday agreed to review the letter of the Government of India and requested the AIFF to send its legal advisors to discuss in detail issues relating to India's chances of hosting the Under-17 World Cup in 2017. All India Football Federation chief Praful Patel on Wednesday met top FIFA officials, including president Joseph Blatter, to discuss the guarantees from the Government of India required by the world body regarding the hosting of the tournament.
Patel also met FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and director member associations and development Vision, Thierry Regenass at the world body's headquarters in Zurich. AIFF general secretary, Kushal Das expressed confidence that the tournament would be awarded to India.
"The government has said that all requirements are fulfilled under the existing legislation. We all are very keen on having the tournament in India," Das said.
FIFA wants to host the tournament in India as part of its developmental plan in the country.
Patel explained to Blatter and Valcke that all the requirements mentioned in the guarantees are fulfilled by the existing legislations of the country and the Government of India had already sent a letter to FIFA explaining the same and giving its unequivocal support for hosting the World Cup. The letter was also supported by a legal opinion endorsing the declaration by the Government of India.
"The meeting was very positive and FIFA agreed to review the letter of the Government of India and the opinion with their legal department and requested AIFF to send their legal advisors for a meeting with FIFA so that the matter can be explained in greater detail," the AIFF said in a statement.
Even though the AIFF had submitted its bid within the deadline after getting the approval of the central and state governments, Valcke, during his visit to India last year, had warned that the country will not get the prestigious event if it fails to meet its strict criterion. FIFA wants to host the tournament in India as part of its developmental plan in the country.