The Indian football team for the U-17 World Cup today left the country for an exposure tour to Europe where it will play a series of practice matches in Portugal, France, Hungary and a tournament in Italy.
The 26-member squad, accompanied by seven officials including head coach Luis Norton de Matos, will train in Lisbon till May 15, and will play practice matches against U-17 youth teams of leading Portuguese clubs like Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Estoril and Setubal.
The squad would then proceed to Paris to play a practice match against PSG U-17 Team. The Indians will also have a match against the Italian U-17 national team in Rome and will also be participating in the Lazio Cup.
The Lazio Cup is a tournament played among 16 teams and the expected teams include Albania U-17, Colombia U-17, a team from CAF Canadian selection, and others like Fiorentina, Lazio, Sampdoria, Cagliari, Pescara, Serie B Italia, Serie C Italia and for local sides.
The Indian team also has confirmed matches against Hungary U-17 and matches against Spanish clubs during their tour to Spain.
All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das said: “AIFF wants to provide the best of exposure to the U-17 World Cup team in our quest to field a competitive team for the World Cup.”
“The practice matches against various youth national teams and youth teams of clubs playing in Premier Division Leagues will serve as a unique experience for our boys as they prepare for the World Cup. We also need to thank SAI for their continuous support,” he added.