FIFA U17 World Cup: This is why AIFF President Praful Patel ducked at journos in Kolkata?

[caption id="attachment_57087" align="aligncenter" width="580"]DNI63Z6VoAAQZPI AIFF President in a press-conference today in Kolkata. Image Source: Indian Football Team[/caption]

Kolkata: As the FIFA U17 World Cup culminates on Saturday at the Salt Lake Stadium, the most talked about topic at the moment is who will present the winner’s trophy. The dignitaries to be present on the dais during the prize distribution ceremony have already been finalized by the executive body of world football. FIFA President Gianni Infantino will be accompanied by the Sports Minister of India Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, AIFF President Praful Patel and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the dais. On being asked who will present the winner’s trophy, a visibly bemused AIFF President chose to duck away.

According to Mr Patel, “So far everything has been organised as per FIFA rules. As you all know there was no opening and closing ceremonies for the tournament. The prize distribution ceremony will take place as per the protocol followed by the FIFA. All I can confirm is Mr Infantino will be accompanied by the Chief Minister, Sports Minister and me on the dais.”

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has already set its sights on hosting the U20 World Cup following the huge success of the U17 World Cup. The next edition of the FIFA U20 World Cup will take place in 2019. Since Korea has already hosted the tournament early this year, the World Football Governing Body might allow some other non-Asia country to host the event. But given the huge success of the U17 World Cup, the AIFF is hoping that FIFA would grant the U20 World Cup in 2019 to India.

The AIFF President already had an informal meeting with the FIFA Council Members and AFC President in this regard today.

Talking to the reporters in Kolkata, Mr Patel said, “It is for everyone to take a notice about the successful hosting of the U19 World Cup. I had a meeting with the Council Members today along with the AFC President. The way the people in the country has embraced the U17 World Cup, we feel it is just the right time to host the U20 World Cup as well. We have requested the FIFA to give us an opportunity to host the U20 World Cup as well in 2019 along with the Club World Cup in 2020-21.”

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