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India fancies its chances at FIFA U-17

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on October 08, 2017 with No Comments

Kolkata too hot for Chile    They have been the first to touch base but the Chile U-17 side is yet to come to terms with Kolkata’s searing heat and humidity. Chile’s forwards William Gama and Diego Valencia has  said that they were trying their best to adjust to the conditions with three days left for their opening group league encounter against England. “It’s really difficult for everyone. But we are trying our best to adapt to hot and humid conditions,” said Gama. His strike partner Valencia said tackling the weather was their “basic goal”. “We are trying to adapt to the climate, that’s our basic goal. The basic difference here is heat and humidity. We are trying really hard each day adapt to the conditions,” Valencia said.

Two of the biggest names in Indian football, Baichung Bhutia and IM Vijayan, have advised the FIFA Under-17 World Cup-bound Indian team not to get overawed by the magnitude of the occasion and play its heart out.

Both the former captains believe that the team has the wherewithal to put up a strong contest against its much-fancied rivals in Group A. India will play their tournament opener against the USA on Friday, followed by matches against Colombia (October 9) and two-time champions Ghana (October 12) at the JLN Stadium in Delhi. “We are hosting the FIFA World Cup for the first time in India,” Bhutia told media at New Delhi.  “So it’s a proud moment in the history of the country. I strongly believe the boys would give their best during the tournament and play their hearts out.”

The former India skipper sounded quite happy with the preparations of the side. “The preparation of the Indian team for this World Cup has been excellent. The Sports Ministry and All India Football Federation (AIFF) have done everything possible to prepare this wonderful team,” said Bhutia.

Both Bhutia and Vijayan, however, agreed that India are placed in a tough group and the boys would have to dish out something special to leave a mark.

“We are in a tough group, no doubt about it. It’s going to be difficult. Other three teams are really strong, with Ghana among the title contenders. So, let’s wish the team good luck,” Bhutia said.

He added that irrespective of the results, this World Cup would act as a stepping stone for India to regain its past football glory



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