India will have the privilege of an extra venue to the traditional four when it hosts the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup from November 2 to 21. Making the announcement here on Tuesday, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman said, “It’s a massive step forward for the game in India.”
Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai will be the venues for the event. “There is unlimited potential for football to grow in India. There is an amazing passion too. We have picked venues that offer the best logistics and sporting facilities and the platform for the players to perform,” said Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. He thanked FIFA for allowing India to add an extra venue.
Speaking on the occasion, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel, who is also a member of the FIFA Council, said, “India has proved in 2017 (FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup) that it can be a great host. We had done a professional job. This event will be a great impetus to Indian football and also prove that gender equality is here to stay.”
Patel added, “We want football to grow outside of the traditional area. North-east has become the epicenter of the game in the country and we are happy to add new venues to the football map. We look forward to bring the Under-20 and Club World Cup tournaments in the near future. There is inspiration from the 3-3 draw our girls team forced against Romania (on Monday).”
Applauding the Indian girls’ effort, Bareman said, “It’s an incredible result against a European team. There are few countries with professional leagues for women. Women are not paid to play football. India should look at the positives from the under-17 women’s tournament. The tournament slogan, Kick-Off The Dream, perfectly captures the inspirational and empowering message for the tournament as we look to grow women’s football.”
Rijiju promised to take the movement forward by maintaining the trend set by Khelo India women’s league. “Every school and college should have a women’s team.”
The final of the tournament will be held at Navi Mumbai.