The West Bengal cabinet of ministers yesterday chose to give a 15 acre of land of Kolkata to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on rent for Rs 1 to help set up a hub of the National Center of Excellence at Kolkata.
West Bengal Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier had guaranteed AIFF president Praful Patel that they will provide land to AIFF for the development of Bengal’s football the eve of the FIFA U-17 World Cup final at the Salt Lake stadium and yesterday the state’s Education Minister Partha Chatterjee declared the state government has already sanctioned the land to AIFF with just a face value of rupee 1 for a span of 90 years.
“The state has decided to lease out a 15 acre land in New Town to the AIFF to set up the National Centre of Excellence for football. A football stadium and a football academy would also be there,” West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee was quoted as saying by PTI.
Mamata Banerjee also while talking about the matter claimed that the land will be of Rajarhat Newtown and she wants football to grow up bigger than ever in India.
“Thank you so much for announcing the CoE here. You will get a prime land in Rajarhat, New Town. We have discussed this matter. You will get free land of 15 acres for this purpose. This is our contribution. We want football to grow in India. Hope India will play (in World Cup) one day. If not today, tomorrow,” Banerjee had told after that meeting.
Football fever in India reached a new height with the just concluded World Cup as the tournament set a record attendance all over for the Under 17 tournament and according to reports, India has also submitted their bid for the next Under 20 FIFA World Cup. And if we go by the response of the tournament, we can be hopeful that there is a big possibility that the next FIFA tournament could hold here in future again.