India 'a football boom waiting to happen': Infantino

NEW DELHI: India is "a football boom waiting to happen", says FIFA president Gianni Infantino as the country prepares host its biggest football tournament, the U-17 World Cup.

Infantino felt there is plenty of scope to develop the game in India.

"Although football has been making considerable strides in the country for years now, there is a unanimous sense that the room for growth is still of gigantic proportions.

"India is a football boom waiting to happen. It is simply a matter of investing in development - and, more importantly, doing so in a wise and effective manner," Infantino wrote in 'FIFA 1904 magazine'.

“This is what the FIFA Forward Programme aims to achieve with tailor made projects. For every territory in the world, there is a sensible plan to help football grow.” he added.

India will host the U-17 World Cup from October 6 to 28 across six cities and Infantino asserts the country is fortunate to have this youth tournament.

“Today, as we count down towards the kick-off of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October, India is fortunate enough to have this youth tournament as a valuable spotlight shining right over its development plan,” Infantino wrote.

“With the ‘Mission 11 Million’, which is taking football to school across the whole country, India has been laying the foundation for a true revolution. A revolution of development and popularisation,” he added.

“The FIFA U-17 World Cup is, by its very definition, a stepping stone for young footballers to experience what the global stage feels like,” Infantino noted.