Football: India preparing bid to host under-20 World Cup

The Fifa under-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in six cities across India from October 6-28.
The Fifa under-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in six cities across India from October 6-28.PHOTO: AFP

New Delhi (AFP) - India put itself forward on Tuesday to host the under-20 World Cup in 2019, as the country prepares to stage its first international football tournament later this year.

Praful Patel, the All India Football Federation president, said the competition in two years would be the next "logical step for the development of football in India".

India will host the under-17 World Cup in October.

The Indian Super League, now expanded to 10 teams, has increased the popularity of football especially among Indian youth.

"With India hosting the Fifa U-17 World Cup India 2017... we feel hosting the U-20 World Cup would be the best way to sustain the footballing momentum in India," Patel said in a statement.

The under-20 World Cup was held this year in South Korea, so Fifa may be reluctant to see it go to Asia for a second straight time.

But the announcement added that India has made "an expression of interest" to the the world football governing body.

The under-17 World Cup will be held in six Indian cities from October 6-28.