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Praful Patel: FIFA U-17 World Cup is an initiative to transform Indian football

AIFF President Praful Patel

The FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 to be hosted in India has often been dubbed as the footballing wind having the potential to encapsulate the entire nation. With the mega event less than 18 months away, the preparations to transform Indian football are in full-swing.

Highlighting the importance of the mega event, AIFF President Praful Patel maintains the “World Cup is an initiative to transform Indian football for generations to come.”

Speaking at a function at the Embassy of France in the Capital where AIFF officially announced about the three AIFF Academy cadets going on a training to French club FC Metz, Patel added: “We are hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and we have a long way to go.”

The U-17 World Cup squad has been training in Goa under Head Coach Nicolai Adam with the ongoing scouting process keeping the door revolving with new talents coming in.

“There have been raw boys picked up for the U-17 World Cup squad and they are the frontrunners amongst their crop. The current Indian U-17 World Cup squad envisages about 25 to 30 youngsters which are scouted from across India,” the AIFF President informed.

“We will keep the U-17 World Cup squad as a holistic unit even after the tournament has concluded as it will serve as the nucleus to the coming generations of Indian football,” Patel stated.

The Indian U-17 World Cup Squad have already been on exposure trips to Germany, Spain, South Africa and with more exposure trips to come. Furthermore, the AIFF Youth Cup is scheduled for May 2016, apart from the AFC U-16 Championship which are to be held in September 2016.

“The Indian U-17 World Cup squad has been on exposure tours to many places and has rubbed shoulders against good clubs and National Teams. We have a 5 nation tournament coming up in May followed by the BRICS tournament and the AFC U-16 Championship where the World Cup squad will be participating and gaining experience in a high competitive environment,” Patel concluded.

(Report & Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)