The Telegraph
Thursday , January 24 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chances aren’t bright for India

New Delhi: Fifa on Wednesday agreed to review the issues relating to India’s chances of hosting the under-17 World Cup in 2017, but there is little possibility of breaking the deadlock unless the world body decides to go easy on some of the guarantees it has asked from the Indian federation.

On Wednesday, All India Football Federation (AIFF) boss Praful Patel met Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Zurich where India was asked to send its lawyers to discuss the matter in details. Though the AIFF is planning to send two of its legal advisors, the problem could still remain unresolved.

Fifa has asked blanket guarantees from the Indian government on issues relating to visa, security and tax exemption. “Fifa has asked guarantees on visa to officials of all its 209 member nations on demand,” said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.

In addition, Fifa has also demanded that central government should provide written guarantee on security and direct and indirect tax exemption to the world body and any other member nation who could benefit from the U-17 Cup.

“As per the law, our government cannot guarantee such things in writing. It can only assure Fifa of all possible help after the championship is awarded to us,” Das said, adding there is still “a flicker of hope” that Fifa will understand India’s constraints and act accordingly. “The central government cannot guarantee on security since it is a subject of respective state governments,” he said.