AIFF likely to send Indian Arrows on Spanish tour as confusion looms over coach Luis Norton de Matos' future
After a gruelling season in the I-League, where they finished bottom of the pack, the Indian Arrows (U18 football team) look set for a tour of Spain, in order to help them prepare for the upcoming season.
The Blue Colts had won many hearts in the FIFA U17 World Cup last year, despite losing all of their group stage matches. That was followed by more promising performances in the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers, and in the I-League.
Now, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is in talks to send the young team, who have been playing under coach Luis Norton de Matos over the last year, for an exposure tour to Spain. However, the finer details of this tour are yet to be hammered out by the AIFF.
Earlier this year, the India U16 team had gone on a Spanish tour, to face the junior teams of USA and Norway. The U16 team is currently preparing for the AFC U16 Championship in Malaysia later this year, and just concluded a tour in China, where they played the host Nation, Thailand, and North Korea.
Incidentally, rumours had started doing the rounds that Indian Arrows head coach Matos had parted ways with the Blue Colts after he made an emotional post on Instagram.
"I want to thank everyone who has been with me in all this year, U17 World Cup, U19 AFC and I League( Indian Arrows): players, technical staff, AIFF and the incredible Indian supporters of this team. Thank you," he wrote.
"This generation proved that there is a future of hope for Indian football. The bases of the work are launched and there has only to be a thought of continuity with adequate planning," Matos further wrote. "Have faith in the quality of your football, believe that nothing is impossible. Regardless of any circumstance of life, which may be strange, believe that my heart and my thoughts will always be with you.”
However, this post has since been removed, and further reports suggest that Matos is set to continue with the Arrows in the upcoming season, and will join the team in Spain.