India wins hosting rights to FIFA U-17 Women’s WC 2020

Praful Patel Infantino

NEW DELHI: FIFA has announced India as new hosts for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020.

The decision was taken at the FIFA council held in Miami on Friday (March 15, 2019).

All India Football Federation president Praful Patel described it as a “proud moment” for Indian football.

“I would like to thank FIFA for keeping their trust in us and granting us the rights to host the tournament. I am also grateful to the government of India and the state governments for their support and providing us the necessary assurances which made winning this bid a reality,” Patel said.

“We felt the football evolution which India attained in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 needed to continue, and as part of AIFF’s commitment towards development of Women’s Football, we decided to bid for the U-17 Women’s World Cup,” Patel stated. “The tournament will be massive as this time it will also galvanise the girls of the country, making it more popular.”

“However, winning the bid was a lesser challenge. The bigger challenge of hosting the showpiece actually lies ahead, especially after the standards which we have set for ourselves in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017,” the AIFF president maintained.

The mega event will be India’s 2nd World Cup in four years, both achieved under the tenure of Patel as the AIFF president.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das described it as a “historic moment” for Indian football.

“I cannot sum it up in words what this means to Indian football,” he said. “Together with all stakeholders we need to make it a grand success, and at the same time we understand that we need to be competitive,” he opined.

“For the success of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020, the support of government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the state governments is extremely vital as we have seen in the past with the U-17 World Cup in 2017. This will ensure success of the tournament, and will take it to greater heights.”

“The support, and enthusiasm by the government of India, and the state governments for this tournament will lead to incremental development in women’s football in the country,” he expressed.

“I would like to thank our president Mr Praful Patel for bringing two back to back the U-17 World Cups to India. Without him we wouldn’t have got the hosting rights.” Das added.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was first played in 2008 in New Zealand and is held every two years. Spain stay the current champions when they beat Mexico in the final held in the last edition in Uruguay in 2018.