FIFA’s India Meetings Focus on Improving Infrastructure

By Community | September 12, 2012

FIFA officials have been discussing plans to improve India’s football infrastructure during a four-day meeting with the All India Football Federation, as the country prepares to host the U17 World Cup in 2017.

The meetings were headed by FIFA Secretary General, Jérôme Valcke, and FIFA Director of Member Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass, who also met with Reliance Industries Chair, Mukesh Ambani, and Hero Group Chair, Pawan Munjal.

Valcke said: “It’s true that one of the issues of football in India is lack of infrastructure.” About 80 percent of I-League matches are played in three stadiums, only two have flood lights.

“With the lack of good stadiums and structure, it’s impossible to organize football games in the evenings, and all of the games are played in the afternoon.”

To host the U17 World Cup, the Indian government, which owns the land, will have to ensure it has sufficient quality stadia. Valcke said that FIFA has already built four artificial pitches and a football academy, and plans to build two more of each. “We have asked the Indian football federation that on top of the six artificial pitches financed by FIFA that we should finance more and give them more,” he said.

Talks will continue in the next month, with the aim of reaching an agreement before the end of the year. {jcomments on}

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