New Delhi, Date – 08/07/2016 : The U-17 FAI-India team left for Paraguay earlier today for the U-17 Futsal World Cup. India will be playing their first game against Catalonia on July 12, Paraguay on July 13 and their final group game is against Kazakhstan on July 14.
Indian U-17 Futsal team will be competing for the first time in the world cup which is all set to commence from 11th of this month. India made a wild card entry to this tournament and became one of the twelve countries to compete for the U-17 World Cup crown in Paraguay.
Futsal Association of India, Founding President, Mr. Namdev Shirgaonkar said, “Futsal is at a very nascent stage in India and sending our U-17 team to the World Cup could be a great opportunity to propagate Futsal in India. We have picked fifteen of the best Futsal players in India through a National Camp and we are confident of them putting up a good show at the World Cup. I am hoping this experience helps them come back as better players. We are grateful to the AMF for extending an invitation to India to compete in one of its marquee tournaments.”
The Indian contingent was selected through U-17 Nationals which were hosted in Haryana from June 14 to June 16. The shortlisted players from the Nationals were put through a training camp in Mumbai from June 26 to July 5, where fifteen players were selected to represent India at the U-17 World Cup.
Bharat Raj, 15, from Chennai who will be leading the Indian contingent in Paraguay. Bharat said, “It is a great honor to be representing India at the highest level in any form. To play against other national players who have grown up playing Futsal would be a great learning experience for us. We are excited and ready to test ourselves against the best Futsal players in the world.”
Before the players left for Paraguay they were motivated by the talented virtuoso A.R. Rahman who met with the player earlier today.