India will vie for a spot in the Round of 16 after facing Colombia, US, and Ghana in Group A.
History beckons for Indian football as twenty-one players have been selected for the first ever Indian squad to participate in a FIFA World Cup, the Indian U-17 World Cup Squad, which will participate in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India.
India have been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Colombia, and Ghana, and will face the USA on October 06, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 09 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
“We believe that we are prepared for the FIFA U-17 World Cup”, said Head Coach of the India U-17s Luis Norton de Matos. “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 five percent chance of winning. We will not give up and nothing is impossible in football.”
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“We plan to show the world that we are on the same page as them”, Matos added.
In an effort to field a strong team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) provided exposure tours for the India U-17s wherein the Indian Colts faced Macedonia, Serbia and Benfica amongst other teams. The Indian Colts had also participated in a Four-Nation Tournament in Mexico where they lost against Mexico and Colombia but held Chile to a 1-1 draw with ten-man.
“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”, Matos informed.
“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”, Matos quipped.
Saurabh Meher, Ajin Tom, Danu, Mohd. Rakip, Nawaz are the major names to have been excluded. Also ousted is Shubham Sarangi, the I-league U-15 top scorer last season and was scoring a lot of goals for the U-17 team lately.
Aman Chhetri has been ruled out due to an injury, highlighted by his Facebook post which was later removed.
The list of the 21 selected players follows below: