India set sight on qualifying for 2022 World Cup

New Delhi: Trying not to read too much into the FIFA rankings, All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel said that their aim is to qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup and in a quest to achieve that they are working on the master plan called the Lakshya.

“We are preparing ourselves to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We have set that as a goal and we will see to it that that our mission is accomplished,” Patel said.

India has hit their new low after FIFA placed them on 169th in the rankings released today, but then the President said that does reflect India’s status and said that India is a much better side than that.

“To have good rankings we need to play the FIFA date matches. We are trying to include more date matches in our calendar and I am sure that India will be rise in rankings in 2-3 years,” he added.

Talking about India’s chances at hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017, he said, “I am confident that FIFA will allow us the privilege to host the tournament,” Patel told the reporters here.

His views were echoed by FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke and said that tournament of such significance should be hosted by India for the development of the game in the country.

“This is the reason we want the U-17 World Cup in 2017 to take place in India. We aim to host World Cups in countries where football development is needed. India stays out primary area of focus,” he said.

“Our main objective is to develop domestic football and bring it to the International level. People would take interest in watching Indian Domestic League and not only the English Premier League and the La Liga and so on. We want to improve the infrastructure as well. India is a large market and I cannot believe 1.2 billion people only play just cricket,” he added.

India today signed an agreement with FIFA to provide technical and strategical support to AIFF.

The agreement was signed in the presence of FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and All India Football Federation president, Praful Patel.

By Indian Sports News Network