AIFF

Exclusive: The AIFF Centre of Excellence for Indian Football would be set up in Kolkata

[caption id="attachment_57110" align="aligncenter" width="580"]The AIFF Centre of Excellence for Indian Football would be set up in Kolkata. Pic Courtesy: XtraTime The AIFF Centre of Excellence for Indian Football would be set up in Kolkata.
Pic Courtesy: XtraTime[/caption]

Debasis Sen,Kolkata: The AIFF Centre of Excellence for Indian Football would be set up in the City of Joy i.e. Kolkata on which the Government of West Bengal has promised to allot 15 acres of land located at Rajarhat. The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has announced this at AIFF's dinner hosted for FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his Council members at Eco Park tonight. After the announcement of Chief Minister the President of the AIFF officially announced that the Centre for Excellence would be set up in Kolkata only.

The Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee has also requested to the FIFA President Gianni Infantino to host the U20 World Cup in India only. Reciprocating her request the FIFA President claimed that the CM's speech has touched his heart.

"I thank the FIFA President because this probably would be the first time the FIFA's executive Council would be meeting during the FIFA U17 tournament outside of Zurich and therefore I would like to thank the President Gianni Infantino for having agreed to our request to host the council meeting in this city of ours. This is probably a milestone and a landmark achievement in the history of Indian Football because everybody in this country and the state of West Bengal loves football" said AIFF President Praful Patel.
"As a consequence we have always wanted India to play the main World Cup and there always is the beginning as baby steps are to be taken. India had previously qualified for the Brazil World Cup in 1950 but as it was just a few years after the independence, we didn't have the money, neither the FIFA was rich as it is today. Nonetheless there is always a beginning in the life and history of a Nation and therefore we are honoured that we have been able to play the first ever FIFA World Cup and we are going to witness a historic final tomorrow" Patel added.

"The tournament has witnessed the highest ever attendance in the history of FIFA U17 & U20 World Cup and therefore I think it is a redefining moment for Indian football. Kolkata has been the home of Indian football and this is als0 my birthplace so it's a huge moment that the finals are held here. We have also decided to set up a Centre for Excellence in India, and then the Chief Minister of West Bengal has made a significant request on her part. Mamata Banerjee has assured me that Government of West Bengal would grant us 15 acres of land" Patel concluded.

"If we can give a little bit of joy and happiness to the people then we would be happy. The investments are important along with the dreams and ambitions that we have heard. For a big country India, we can say it's a continent itself as it has 1/6th of the world's population and most important a football loving country needs to put football at the top of their priority and needs to be an example for other countries in terms of footballing. This event has been a success and a record breaking feat so I wish thank for all the hardwork that has been put by everyone" said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

"We are really grateful and it's a huge honour for us and repeating what Mr. patel said, We Indians love football like anything. Football is our vision, mission, action or reaction. We have seen how the spectators have crossed all records and thus I am requesting FIFA to consider hosting the U20 World Cup in India as we are ready. I can assure that we would be everready to extend our helping hand every time" said Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.

 

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