World Cup 2010 Special: Will India Ever Host A FIFA World Cup?

The FIFA President (in 2026): "And the 2034 FIFA World Cup goes to.. INDIA!! Congratulations India on earning the opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup. We all look forward to being there in 2034."

Call me crazy but, I am just another ordinary Indian football fan, who dreams of India taking on the world right here in India itself.

This dream which I have along with many other football fans across India will be a long and tiresome journey, but at the end, we will have the World Cup, right here in our country.

To begin with, India cannot host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups as the bidding for both have closed on May 14 2010. The Asian countries dominate the bids for the 2022 World Cup, and if the World Cup comes to Asia then India will get to bid for the FIFA hosting rights for 2034.

But a lot needs to be done before we can actually go ahead and convince the world that we are capable of hosting an event of this magnitude.

To put things in place, here are a few mentioned:

Better Infrastructure: India needs to improve its football infrastructure. The facilities needed to make India a global powerhouse are clearly lacking, and football needs to be put on the same level as cricket is at. Indian National team striker Sunil Chhetri too has reckoned the need of infrastructure development.

Add to that, hosting a continental football tournament before hosting the big one is necessary to broadcast our infrastructural capabilities to the organizers of the tournament. India hosted the 2006 U-20 AFC Championships in Kolkata and Bangalore.

With the 2015 AFC Asian Cup almost certain to take place in Australia, India have an opportunity to bid for the 2019 or 2023 AFC Asian Cup. This will give India the much needed infrastructural boost, which we need to go ahead and bid for hosting the FIFA event.

Qatar is hosting the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and has submitted a bid for the 2022 World Cup. Maybe India could use a few tips from them on how to go about it as well.

Prove Itself As Hosts: India needs to prove it's capabilities of hosting a huge event succesfully on the global stage. It has hosted the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cups, and will be hosting the 2010 Commenwealth Games in Delhi this year in October. Add to that, India hosted a succesful Hockey World Cup earlier this year and will again be playing host to the Cricket World Cup in 2011.

The success of India as the host of the 2010 Commonwealth Games will be the stepping stone India needs to go for the FIFA World Cup and Olympics henceforth.

South Africa hosted the Cricket and Rugby World Cup's earlier in the decade before getting the chance to host the FIFA extravaganza. India has already had success with the Hockey World Cup, and one more success would really propel India's chances of hosting the second biggest tournament in the world.

Government Support to FIFA: The most important aspect is proper support from the government, which is what FIFA consider top requirement. FIFA look for the kind of backing the government provides them in terms of economic support as well as administrative support. Amongst others, they look for tax concessions and cost saving techniques. These play a pivotial role in deciding the hosts of the FIFA event.

Government Support to the Game in India: India is a country which is currently focusing on development and other economic issues. If India are to host the FIFA event, the government needs to become sports-driven. They also need to invest on the development of the game in India from the grass root level. From infrastructure, to youth support, we need all the help the governement can provide.

A Proper Team: India is home to over one billion people. Even if 0.1% of the people play the game, we have at least 1 Million people to choose from to build a good proper team for international events and perform well.

Indian players travelled to Barcelona to prepare for the AFC Challenge Cup in New Delhi last year and will be going to Portugal ahead of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. With this kind of international exposure and matches against tougher opponents; and a good youth development system to go along, our team will be capable of playing alongside the best in the business and will beat them as well.

A good example of India's surge in football can be the recent performance by the India U-16 colts in the Coca Cola Tournament in South Africa. They drew 1-1 with Gautemala and 2-2 with Mexico, whose senior side blanked out France 2-0 in the World Cup. The Colts finally made it to the semi-finals of the same tournament. So, the future looks bright!

Fans: India has the needed fan base attract the fan base. But what it needs is a good base of Indian fans.

Fans here follow England, Brazil, Spain, etc. but seldom follow India on the international stage. We need a strong backing for our Indian team if the tournament comes, and this can only done with the help of the media.

And Most importantly

A Proper Plan & Patience: We need a proper, decisive and a step by step plan in place. Add to that, we need to show patience with each step as this is a slow and steady process.

With a mix of all the above elements, I don't find a reason why the World Cup shouldn't come to India. If the Cricket WC and Hockey WC can, why not football?