With the increasing craze towards sports, the cricket dominating country this time makes its way towards football. India is all set to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Not only it will be the first time for India to be a host of this tournament but also it will be the first time India is participating in it too. Coach has already revealed the names of his U-17 team this Thursday.
ABOUT THE MATCHES
All the teams are divided in a group of four. There will be six groups in total i.e. Group A, Group B, Group C, followed till Group F. India is placed in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana. The hosts will play their inaugural match against USA on October 6, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively. These matches will be played on league basis and each team in a group will get a change to fight against each other.
To stand against strong teams in FIFA U-17, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) organised exposure tours for the underdog. These youngsters faced Macedonia, Serbia, and Benfica. Furthermore, they also participated in a Four-Nation Tournament in Mexico. However, they lost against Mexico and Colombia but pushed Chile to a draw with just ten-man. After these matches, Matos quoted, “Against Chile and Macedonia, we registered good results but the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be a competition and competitions are different from friendly matches”.
“However, the level of the players is very high and we plan to give it our all once the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks-off”, he added.
THE INDIAN U-17 WORLD CUP SQUAD
The list of the 21 selected players follows below:
GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal;
DEFENDERS: Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande;
MIDFIELDERS: Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan;
FORWARDS: Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav.
Amarjit Singh is given the responsibility to lead his team as a captain. Moreover, the team has two NRIs, Namit Deshpande and Sunny Dhaliwal. Both of them have been named in the team by head coach Luis Norton de Matos. Furthermore, the team has the maximum number of eight players from Manipur itself.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) September 21, 2017
Talking about his team, Head Coach of the India U-17s Luis Norton de Matos said, “We believe that we are prepared for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. We have worked hard and made progress but at the same time we go directly to a high level competition against some of the best teams in the world. We will fight to win each match even if there is only a five percent chance of winning. We will not give up and nothing is impossible in football”.
“We plan to show the world that we are on the same page as them”, Matos added.
The Indian U-17 players are already heroes, says coach Luis Norton de Matoshttps://t.co/NdduzaMBi1
— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) September 19, 2017
It will be a proud moment for India to see their youngsters fighting in the field for the ball. Surely, the vociferously cheering of the fans will keep the players’ spirit boosted. This is the time for India to show its dominance in football. Not to mention these young bodies will risk everything to win the matches.