Kolkata, Oct 25 (IANS) Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Dato Windsor John on Wednesday said FIFA is very happy with the way India has organised the U-17 World Cup, adding it’s never easy for a country of such huge size to host a mega event like this.
“I think from the feedback we got from FIFA, they are very happy with the organisation of the World Cup. It’s not easy to organise a World Cup in such a huge country. There got to be some issues but if you look at it in a very objective way, I think it has been fantastic,” Windsor John told reporters on the sidelines of Brazil vs England.
“Of course it varies from venue to venue, but overall it has been excellent,” he said.
Asked about Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium not being able to host the last-four clash between Brazil and England due to poor ground conditions and incessant rain, Windsor John said: “In any football development, infrastructure is key. It starts with fields, stadiums and so on.
“(Poor condition of) Pitch in Guwahati happened due to bad weather. But overall it has been very positive not only for India but overall for Asia.”
About the Indian team’s, playing in its first-ever World Cup, Windsor John said what is done after the World Cup needs to be seen first and the World Cup can only be a catalyst of better things to come.
“I watched India play the opening match. You need to know to put up a generation of players needs a lot of grassroot development. You cannot just pick from the whole country, it does not work like that. So probably if India starts now, the next generation of player would be ready. Some of these who have come here are playing football from the age of four years. I mean the Brazils…you cannot just pick from the cream. There has to be a pyramid.
“The World Cup in India is to be a catalyst to turn things around. You have to look at it that way. Now India has embraced football. For us in AFC, India is very important. We want to make football the number one sport in Asia and India is very important. So now we have to ask what happens after the World Cup,” he said.
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