FIFA U17 World Cup: Ex-India captain Renedy Singh shows heartwarming gesture for Indian U17 players' families
History is all set to be made on October 6 as the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off in India and for the very first time in history, a team from the nation will feature at an event of this scale. India's 21-member squad features players from across the country and out of the 21, eight feature from the tiny north-eastern state of Manipur. The eight players, who hail from the same state, also have one more thing in common, unfortunately.
All the players are from humble backgrounds and they have had to undergo immense struggle to reach what is a landmark stage in Indian football. And while the players have been iconised in the buildup to the FIFA U-17 World Cup, it's their families back home whose plight hasn't been properly highlighted.
In a bid to do just that, former India captain and Manipur-born Renedy Singh went to the homes of every player from his state in the India U-17 squad only to find that the players' family members will not be able to see their sons strut their stuff on New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium when India kick off their campaign against the USA on 6th October.
Renedy pointed out that the players' families are barely making ends meet and travelling to Delhi to watch their sons playing at the World Cup is an impossible dream for them.
The former midfielder also urged politicians and public figures to go out of their way to help these families. Pictures shared by Renedy also give a new perspective to the players' struggles.
The eight players from Manipur in the India U-17 squad are Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Ninthoinganba, Boris Singh Thangjam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Mohammad Shahjahan.
A few Indian national team stars also saluted Renedy's move to visit each of the Manipuri players' homes, as the new Manipuri national team stars - Udanta Singh and Salam Ranjan Singh - gave their votes of approval.
Although Renedy wasn't available for a quote, this approach from him will at least boost a big section of the India Colts' squad ahead of what is their biggest game ever. The mere sight of family members in the stadium can do wonders to a player's confidence and what Renedy is up to will only serve to benefit Indian football. Over to you, politicians and public figures.