Reports: Barcelona's youth team to visit India for U-17 tournament
The BRICS under-17 Football Cup, which will be held in India in April 2016, is set to have Barcelona’s youth team as a special invitee. The team from La Masia, one of the most famed football academies in the world, will compete with the U-17 teams of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at the tournament.
All matches of the 6-team event will be played at Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian representatives to organise the BRICS under-17 Football Cup next year.
The event will provide Indians a glimpse of the beauty of Spanish football from close quarters, as exhibited by youngsters trained by the same facilities as superstars Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, among countless others.
Such events will raise nation’s football standards and skills: Sports Ministry
“Barcelona’s youth side could be part of the BRICS U-17 tournament, we are discussing that possibility,” said Joao Gilberto Vaz, Project Leader and Tournament Organiser.
“India has become an emerging football market with the Indian Super League and is a key player in all segments within BRICS,” added Vaz.
Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary at Sports Ministry, hailed the initiative – “Such tournaments will help India in making football popular in the country. Further it will help us raise our standards, skills and expertise”.
The event will also provide the AIFF an opportunity to assess India’s U-17 team against the toughest oppositions ahead of the U-17 World Cup to be hosted by the country in 2017.