New Delhi, Apr 11 (PTI) 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.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.