AIFF Set to Sign Agreement with French Football Federation

Published: 29th May 2015 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2015 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI:The lead-up to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup is set to be a real appetiser for football fans. Having secured tie-ups with the football fed­erations of Germany, Japan and Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is preparing to sign an agree­ment with the French Foot­ball Federation to help in its efforts to develop the world’s most popular sport in India.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function where ‘Training Site Agreements’ were sub­mitted, the AIFF-appointed U-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi said: “The agreement with the French Football Federation could be signed within a month. It would open up op­portunities for players to train in France and also for coaches from France to come over to India. The focus would be on youth develop­ment.”

With FIFA making a strong pitch to tap into the football potential of India, other countries are also keen to tie-up with India for exchange programmes, Ceppi said. Goan youngster Romeo Fer­nandes recently had a stint in Brazil, though he made just one substitute appearance for Atletico Paranaense.

While the U-17 World Cup is the first-ever FIFA event to happen in India, the pros­pects of the country hosting international friendlies to “test” the pitches being pre­pared for the global event also appear bright. While Ceppi stopped short of stat­ing that national teams of top football nations could be playing in India in the next two years, he hinted the pre-tourney events could have an “international feature”.

He also stated that hosting of the FIFA event would cre­ate an infrastructural legacy for Indian youth. The train­ing venues being developed will have floodlights, dress­ing rooms and facilities apart from the playing surface.

Kochi in List

“The fate is in Kochi’s hands,” said Javier Ceppi, the tourna­ment director for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, after the city was announced as one of the venues provisionally se­lected to host the global event allotted to India.

Speaking after a ‘Kick-off Workshop’ held at the Jawa­harlal Nehru International Stadium on Thursday, Ceppi was confident that the Kera­la Football Association would be able to put in place all the necessary requirements

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