Javier Ceppi says aim of conducting FIFA U-17 World Cup in India was to improve standard of football

Mumbai: Tournament director of the Local Organising Committee of the U17 FIFA World Cup hosted by India Javier Ceppi on Friday said that objective to bring the tournament to India was to improve the standard of the game.

"The objective of bringing the U17 FIFA World Cup to India was to improve the standard of the game and woo the billions, " Ceppi was quoted as saying in a media release. He was speaking at the Star Sports India Football Forum 2017.

Athletes are stars and need to be respected and importance needs to be given to the game rather than celebrities, added Ceppi.

Javier Ceppi added the door is now open for India to host more FIFA events. Getty Images

File image of Javier Ceppi. Getty Images

He also stated that the complexion of football in the country is changing and the improvements will be noticed 10-15 years down the line.

Meanwhile, referring to the development of grassroots football, Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said one needs to have fire in the belly and passion to play football.

Yuva Sena chief and Mumbai District Football Association chief Aaditya Thackeray, in a special address, noted that the learning from the success of the U17 FIFA World Cup don't end here and the challenge is to take football forward with the help of the professional bodies, government and other stakeholders.

Thackeray said that football associations need to follow the cricket model as it is an excellent example which has seen tremendous success and popularity of the game.

We have initiated Baby Leagues and other initiatives in BMC schools and with the help of Lions Club and Mumbai City FC for the identifying talent, he said adding that the aim was to give access to the lowest teams and schools which will give children an aspiration to play football.

The India Football Forum, one of the key properties of the SportzPower Knowledge Series (SKS), was established in 2010.

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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2017 23:44 PM

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