India could soon experience the beauty of Spanish football from close quarters with Catalan giants Barcelona’s youth team participating as special invitee at the BRICS U-17 Football Cup, to be held in New Delhi in April 2016.
In this regard, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian representatives to organise the tournament.
The competition will provide an opportunity to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to assess the team’s preparation for the 2017 U-17 World Cup.
“The tournament will strengthen even more the relations between BRICS nations using football a catalyst to create communities, encourage friendship and bring young people of different BRICS cultures even closer,” said Joao Gilberto Vaz, Project Leader and Tournament Organiser at an ASSOCHAM event on Tuesday.
BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will be competing in the tournament besides the Barcelona youth team.
The matches will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium, with Vaz calling the venue ideal for “these kind” of tournaments.
While addressing a meeting, Vaz said, “India has become an emerging football market with the recent creation of Indian Football League.
“India is a key player in all segments within BRICS and a football event in India will also bring a new image of importance to football.”
The MoU was signed by the ASSOCHAM Secretary General ASSOCHAM, D S Rawat, and Vaz, in the presence of the Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary at Sports Ministry.
Vaz further said, “The BRICS U-17 Football Cup will happen yearly and if possible in conjunction with BRICS Summit always following the molds of FIFA U-17 tournaments,” added Vaz.
He also launched the logo and slogan for the BRICS football cup ‘BRICS, TOGETHER WE WIN’.
Also present on the occasion was AIFF General Secretary Kaushal Das, who spoke about the signing of the MoU between the two parties.
“The MoU stipulates that both the parties shall collaborate and cooperate through effectively utilizing their respective schemes and assets for the development of industrial human resources via implementation of joint programme,” said Rawat.
“The creation of a strategy for economic cooperation led the five major emerging economies i.e. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to join hands together with a common goal of encouraging commercial, political and cultural cooperation amongst the BRICS nations,” said Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman of ASSOCHAM National Council on Sports and Sports Infrastructure.
Others who also spoke during the interactive session were Javier Ceppi, Tournament Director and Joy Bhattacharya, Project Director of FIFA U-17 World Cup.