New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura and head of FIFA tournaments Jaime Yarza will be amongst the spectators on the inaugural day match between host India and the United States in the U-17 World Cup here Friday.
The hosts have been pitted against Ghana, Colombia and the United States in Group A. All three teams have well-established pedigree in Fifa World Cups, at both senior as well as Under-17 levels.
Participating in their first-ever football World Cup in any format of the game, India have a chance to prove their credentials not only as a footballing nation but also as World Cup hosts.
"It is indeed heartening to see the Indian team completely geared up to take on the world in the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup". Situated in the heart of the national capital, the venue, upgraded for the FIFA under-17 World Cup, has quietly undergone a transformation for the biggest football extravaganza in the country.
This tournament is taking place in six cities Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi and Guwahati.
"The preparations of U-17 FIFA World Cup are going on very well". There have been 210 players who have participated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and then gone to play for their respective nations at the FIFA World Cup. "That is very important", the Portuguese said.
"This exposure on the big stage against the best in the world is crucial for players to dream big, grow the game, gain crucial experience as well as improve football facilities and following in the country", Indian senior team captain Sunil Chhetri told Sputnik. Nigeria also failed to qualify for the World Cup twice in succession in 1997 and 1999.
According to the Newspaper, The matches here will held on October 6, 9, 12 and 16."Since it is an global event, our responsibility has increased manifold".
Virat Kohli, post India's sensational win in the recently concluded series win against Australia, took time out of his schedule to post a video of him wishing the Indian team all the very best for the upcoming tournament.
India skipper and central midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam, who was also present at the pre-match conference is also excited for the meet and said it is good to see that everyone is supporting us. "We want to fight as a team and with help from the 12th man (the home supporters) we hope we can compete against them", he added. "So, it will be a tough job for us", the India coach, who took over in March this year said. "We played them a little over a year ago, and the score wasn't indicative of how they played".