Bengaluru: FIFA representative and Tournament Director Javier Ceppi on Thursday granted the city a lifeline for hosting the 2017 U-17 World Cup, saying that the officials of the international body would take a call on new stadium if there is some development before January next year.
"I would be more than happy to visit Bengaluru and allow the stadium if there is some development on the new stadium front before January 2016," he told reporters on the occasion of signing of the cooperation agreement between All India Football Federation and Sports Authority of India.
Replying to a query, Ceppi said FIFA is looking at the timeline of January 2017 for completion of the stadium.
"Collin Smith, FIFA's director of competition, had visited India on May 21 and had clearly mentioned that FIFA requires stadiums should be ready between 12 or 9 months before the event. The event will be between September and October 2017. We are looking at the timeline of January 2017," he said.
Ceppi further said Kanteerava Stadium does not comply to FIFA norms to hold World Cup matches. "Unfortunately the Kanteerava Stadium does not comply to FIFA requirements to hold U-17 FIFA World Cup," he said.
Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth welfare Sarbananda Sonowal said the relationship between SAI and AIFF should be beyond granting of funds and aim to uplift the technical aspects of the sport.
"There is a need for collaboration between SAI and AIFF so that the relationship is not to be confined to giving some grants to them. The relationship should be for technical aspects of the sport, right from the grassroots level to state and national level," he said.
Sonowal further said the available infrastructure owned by SAI should be properly used. "One of the most important part of this collaboration is that whatever infrastructure SAI has got, that infrastructure should be properly utilised," he said.