The FIFA official has backed the Tigers to host the 2017 edition, claiming that the event could be a major stepping stone for the sleeping giants.

“India is a key market. We have a 10-year understanding with the AIFF. We share a long term vision, and will implement it,” said Valcke.

“Obviously, the infrastructure will have to be top class, the six venues needed for the tournament will have to be the best. We need security guarantee from the government and then guarantees for accommodation, transport and airport facilities,” Valcke said.

“At the end of the day, for those young players taking part, this will have to be ‘the’ tournament for them. It does not matter where it is being held. So naturally, if India fails to satisfy the strict criteria, it will not host the event,” he added.

India could potentially host the 2017 U-17 World Cup after getting FIFA’s backing, but a major overhaul of the current facilities is required for that.