KOLKATA: Kolkata may host the final of the Under-17 football World Cup to be held in India in 2017, if All India Football Federation president Praful Patel has his way.
"I will use my good office so that the final of Under-17 football World Cup is held in Kolkata," Patel said at the felicitation of programme of ISL-winner Atletico de Kolkata by the state government here.
India would host the Under-17 football World Cup in 2017 and AIFF would bid for both the 2018 Club World Cup and the 2020 Under-20 football World Cup, Patel said.
The AIFF president also got the state government's nod to develop Rabindra Sarovar stadium into an international standard venue to host the 2017 meet.
"Done," Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee replied instantly when Patel requested her to handover the Stadium to the AIFF.
"I am happy to announce that we are ready to handover Rabindra Sarovar Stadium to AIFF. It's my dream to see U-17 World Cup football being held in Kolkata. We have beautified the area around Rabindra Sarovar, a national lake," Banerjee said at the programme.
Patel welcomed the gesture saying that the decision of the state government would help AIFF to develop the required infrastructure.
"I want football to have its revival and that can happen only in Kolkata under the leadership Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," Patel said, adding that there would be a series of soccer tourneys to be held in the city.
Suggesting that a world-class football stadium could also be developed in Rajarhat New Town near the city, Banerjee requested the ATK owners to look into the venture while the state was ready to provide it land for the purpose.
"We are ready to give land in Rajarhat to build a football stadium of international standard. Let us prepare the infrastructure for the Under-17 World Cup tournament from now," Banerjee said. ATK co-owner Sanjiv Goyenka immediately accepted the Chief Minister's proposal.