With the FIFA Under-17 World Cup kicking off in less than 50 days in India, the attention has shifted towards the Colts as they gear up to face some heavyweights in Group A comprising of hosts India, USA, Ghana and Colombia.
Undoubtedly, the U-17 World Cup will be a major step forward for Team India to make a mark in international football. Looking at history, Indian football teams have never managed to qualify for any of the sport’s showpiece events, let alone recording anything remarkable. Speaking of which, this U-17 team must be properly groomed even after the World Cup ends. AIFF has been trying to formulate a plan to provide continuous European exposure to India U-17 World Cup Squad for which they are trying to adopt ‘China Model’ and add India U-17 to a European League, to tally them with European Footballing standards.
Speculations of AIFF considering sending India U-17 World Cup Squad to La Liga 2/3 or Portugal League are doing the rounds. AIFF might also consider sending them for exposure trips to Europe in order to keep the team together after the World Cup. Since 2015, the team has been traveling around the world playing friendly matches as part of the preparations for the U-17 World Cup. Decent performances in preparatory matches in Spain, Dubai, South Africa, Brazil, Germany and Mexico has definitely boosted the team’s confidence.
This can be an effective way to condition the boys for future but this plan comes with it’s fair share of complications with a lot of government procedures involved. Can the AIFF make this happen as the exposure at the global level will definitely help the Indian team?