The Indian government has sanctioned the payment of Rs1.2 billion ($19.9 million) to upgrade stadia for soccer’s Fifa Under-17 World Cup, which the country will host in 2017.
Six stadia are expected to host matches at the tournament, including some of those that are to be used for the new franchise-based Indian Super League, which has been developed by IMG Reliance, a joint venture between IMG, the sports and entertainment company, and Reliance Industries, India’s largest private sector company.
The Indian Super League, which is scheduled to kick off in September, is supported by the All India Football Federation and broadcaster Star India, which will televise the games, and is intended to provide a boost for soccer at all levels, from the professional game to grassroots, in the country.
The AIFF has proposed that stadia in Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and one of Assam, Goa and Kerala will host Indian Super League matches.
Kushal Das, the AIFF’s general secretary, said: “The central government has sanctioned an expenditure of Rps120 crore for upgradation of the stadia and development of infrastructure [for the under-17 World Cup]. It is also expected that besides the central government’s sanctioned budget, the states selected will put in additional money to create the best possible infrastructure and facilities.”