India mulls hosting 2023 AFC Asian Cup, Women’s World Cup

Pipped by Poland in the race to host the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, India is “thinking” of placing a bid for hosting the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and a Women’s World Cup in the near future.

Amid much fanfare, India had submitted its bid for hosting the U20 tournament after successfully organising the U17 World Cup (Above), last October.   -  AP

There may be doubts on his continuing in his post but for all practical purposes, Praful Patel remains the top boss of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). And on Tuesday, the AIFF president insisted that the federation, while not interfering in the workings of the national team, would nevertheless step in if there was any issue between the players and the management.

Speaking to the media at the launch of a mobile national scouting application here, Patel said that unless there was a clear communication of discord, he would not bother with the team. “What happened with the Under-17 team was there was unison among the players who formally expressed their unhappiness with the then coach. Nothing of that sort has come to my notice now with the national side but if it happens, we will see,” Patel said, reacting to reports of players being dissatisfied with coach Stephen Constantine.

The application would help AIFF keep track of talent across the country through its registered talent scouts. The app, called ScoutMe and developed by 17-year-old Kush Pandey of Jaipur, currently includes profiles and performances of over 27,000 domestic players across the country. “The data would be provided and tracked by our own registered talent scouts,” AIFF 's director of national teams Abhishek Yadav said.

India may bid for bigger events

AIFF secretary general Kushal Das, meanwhile, indicated that the federation was keen on holding more big-ticket events after the successful conduct of the Under-17 World Cup last year.

Pipped by Poland in the race to host the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, India is “thinking” of placing a bid for hosting the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and a Women’s World Cup in the near future. “We are thinking of bidding for the 2023 Asian Cup, though China is also interested. We are also thinking about the Women’s World Cup and other international events,” Das said.

He also admitted that there was no clear solution yet on holding a combined domestic league any time soon. “Discussions are still on but it is not easy. There are many issues including financial and technical. As of now, there are two leagues,” he said.