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India targets Club World Cup hosting rights

The All India Football Federation has “put in a request” to host the 2015 Fifa Club World Cup, according to president Praful Patel.

The AIFF has entered the running after the country secured its first major Fifa tournament last week by landing the rights to the 2017 U-17 World Cup. World football’s governing body has been keen to stage one of its events in India in a bid to develop the sport in the country.

Morocco holds the hosting rights to the 2013 and 2014 Club World Cups, with this year’s tournament scheduled to take place from December 11-21. The seven-team competition, which was first contested in 2000 and has been held every year since 2005, features the club champions from each of Fifa’s six continental confederations along with the host nation’s national champion.

“Officially we have put in a request to host the Club World Cup in 2015,” Patel said, according to the NDTV Sports website. “That will mark a paradigm shift in the way football is looked at in India. Official communication has been made. Expect to know the outcome by the middle of next year.”

Concerning the U-17 World Cup, Patel added: “It has not been an easy task to get the hosting rights. Right from getting assurances and guarantees from the central and state governments, it has been a tough job. These assurances and guarantees were absolute and non-negotiable. The real challenge starts now and we have to develop the infrastructure to world standards to host the U-17 World Cup successfully. I would say that getting the hosting rights was easier but hosting it successfully would be tougher.”