Bhaichung Bhutia : FIFA U-17 World Cup will help India raise profile of football

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Bhaichung Bhutia : FIFA U-17 World Cup will help India raise profile of football

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SportsCafe Desk

09/07/2017

Bhaichung Bhutia feels that the FIFA U-17 World Cup will help in developing the level of football in the country. The former India skipper has also observed that the mega event has already made its greatest impact in the country as infrastructure has developed at the grassroot level.

India will host the FIFA U-17 World Cup next month and it will be the biggest event for the country in the football. India, where most of the people only concerned about cricket, will witness the glory of the most popular game in the world, albeit it is a junior level tournament. The tournament will begin on October 8 and will continue until 28. 

"This prestigious tournament will only help the country in its bid to raise the profile of football. If the players produce good results in the tournament, it will be a motivation for the country and the players to do even better (in future)," said Bhutia as reported by PTI.

This tournament has given the opportunity to the country to show their development in the field of football is no fluke and they have the infrastructure to take the game forward. The tournament will further encourage the young crop to opt this game as a career.

"In terms of organisation, I see that the U-17 World Cup will be a successful one. I feel it is already a success," said Bhutia, the former chairman of the technical committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). 

"There has been a huge improvement in infrastructure at the grassroot level. More than 100 football academies have registered with the AIFF. More than 50 clubs have registered for the U-19 League (of the AIFF). It is all because of this U-17 World Cup".

India have been placed in the Group A with the United States of America, Ghana, and Colombia with New Delhi being selected as the host city for all the matches of the group. Apart from Delhi, the other matches will be played in Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, Guwahati, and Margao. Ahead of the tournament, Bhutia showed his confidence in the Indian team and believed that they can perform better.

"As far as the performance of the boys is concerned, it will be tough for them (to wriggle out of the group stage). But it is not impossible. They will have to play their best and you never know (what will happen) in football," the former India skipper said. 

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