India's preparations for a formal bid to stage the prestigious 2017 Under 17 Football World Cup is in the final stages with only the security clearance left from the hosting states, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said on Saturday.
Das said that the All India Football Federation has got security guarantee from four of the six states with Kerala and Maharashtra being the exceptions.
"We have got the assurance from the central government to host the Under 17 World Cup. Only security guarantee and fire safety clearance are left. Since security being the state subject, the hosting states will have to give that guarantee," Das said.
"We have received security guarantees from Assam, Kerala and Goa. For Delhi, the Lt. Governor will be a signatory to the bid and so no need for a security guarantee. We have to get from Bengal and Maharashtra. In case of Maharashtra, it will be delayed due to the fire in the Mantralaya," he said.
Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Margao and Kochi are expected to host the 52-match Under 17 World Cup if India wins the bid.
"There is no such deadline for the bid but we are submitting it to the FIFA as soon as possible. We are hopeful of winning the bid," he added.
Das also said that Syria and Jordan have confirmed participation in the Nehru Cup international tournament. The federation is now trying to get an African country and a team from South East Asia or Costa Rica.
"Syria and Jordan have confirmed participation. We are not sure about Nigeria. If Nigeria is not there we have sent invitation to Cameroon and also Zambia. We have also sent invite to Costa Rica, Thailand and Malaysia," he said.
The $2,00,000 prize-money Nehru Cup, to be held in New Delhi from August 23 to September 2, will have five teams, including India.
Meanwhile, former India captain Chuni Goswami called on the AIFF to arrange more international matches for the senior and Under-22 national sides.
He asked the AIFF to associate Indian coaches with the foreign recruits to pass on the know-how.
Goswami lauded the AIFF for its recent initiatives to establish academies with FIFA's help.