India will bid to host the 2019 Under-20 World Cup in the coming months as part of its endeavour to develop the game in the country, All India Football Federation President Praful Patel said on Monday. Patel was confident that winning the bid to host the 2017 Fifa Under-17 World Cup would go a long way to help India gain the opportunity to host in the Under-20 event in three years’ time.

“We have told the Fifa Competitions Committee that we are keen to host the event at the earliest available opportunity in 2019, and this will further give a boost to our grassroots initiatives,” Patel was quoted as saying by www.Sc.Qa.

“[The] Under-17 World Cup next year will be the defining moment of Indian football. We have had intense focus on the Under-16 and Under-17 age-groups and will ensure the national team spends the next few years training and playing together,” Patel added.

Patel was also optimistic about India’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.“We will aspire towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup because of the support our national team is going to receive and will need to ensure that right steps are taken towards realising this objective,” said Patel. “Many of the current Under-16 boys will be a well-knit group and will be ready for national team duty in time for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which will start around the same time.”