New Delhi: All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel launched the country's bid to host the prestigious 2015 Club World Cup and the 2017 U-17 World Cup in the presence of FIFA president Sepp Blatter here on Friday.
While FIFA in January had already agreed in principle to award the Under-17 World Cup to India, AIFF's decision to bid for the Club World Cup came as a surprise. The decision on the hosts of the two tournament would be taken later this month by the FIFA executive committee in Zurich.
Blatter, who was on his second visit to India, said that country enjoys his blessings to host the U-17 World Cup since it would be a step in the right direction.
"The U-17 World Cup fits India's scheme of things. It will be a step in the right direction in terms of grass roots development. There is a good possibility. But I am not the only one in FIFA who decides.
"The decision has to be taken by the executive committee of the FIFA. But India have to start working now with the U-12 teams," said Blatter, flanked by two executive committee members Zhang Zilong, also the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and Manilal Fernando.
Blatter was non-committal about the prestigious Club World Cup, but said: "Why not? There is a possibility that the tournament will be played in Asia. The present Indian clubs doesn't match the standards. But if it is played in India then the country's top team will play in the tournament."
Patel told Blatter that he would get all the bid papers before leaving the country.
"Mr. Blatter, I assure you will get all the bid papers before leaving India. The AIFF will put in its best efforts to get the two tournaments," he said.