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There is gap in terms of quality between India and world’s top team, but it’s not that much

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is happy with India’s maiden hosting of FIFA U-17 World Cup. He is hoping that India breaks China 1.2 million thresholds reached during 1985 hosting of the tournament and sees India as a potential bidder for U-20 World Cup to be held in 2019. And after listening to FIFA president’s comment, Indian National Team captain Sunil Chhetri came forward and said, “It is India’s time to cash in on FIFA U-17 World Cup recognition.”

Infantino was here in Kolkata for FIFA Council meeting on Friday and he was impressed with India’s effort to pull crowd in the stadium for U-17 World Cup. He said addressing to the media, “India remains a huge frontier for the development on the football and that the governing body was doing its best to promote the game in the country.”

He added as reports, “The idea is to embed the idea and culture of football into the minds of the people. If FIFA is serious about its idea of developing football around the world, we’ll have no other choice than to take into account and help the development of Indian football, which houses one-sixth population of the world.”

FIFA president also had all praise for India’s U-17 World Cup team. He said, “I’ve watched the Indian U-17 team on TV. Yes, there is a gap in terms of quality from the top teams but not that match.”

Sunil Chhetri was particularly delighted with Infantino comments as he takes it as his responsibility to get media attention to become India’s voice for the beautiful game. India’s leading goal scorer told IANS, “The biggest gain for us is that Indian football has been recognized at the world stage. This is the best opportunity to cash in and make it count.”

He added as Ahmedabad Mirror, “Our boys played so well, man. These are the guys who will come into the senior team and we need to hold them together and continue their development.”

“The hospitality was excellent. We have been great hosts. Now we need to make sure that the facilities are maintained. We need to make sure such enthusiasm doesn’t die down with the World Cup getting over. For that, national team needs to keep doing well but also the infrastructure needs to be taken over.”


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