Spanish legend Puyol to promote U-17 FIFA World Cup in India

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) World football governing body FIFA on Wednesday announced that former Spain star and FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol will do promotional activities for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, to be played in India October 6 to 28.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championship winner will grace multiple events between May 15 and 17 to promote the tournament both in New Delhi and Mumbai.

The main activity in which he will be involved is the launch of ticket sales, according to a release.

The first set of tickets for the FIFA U-17 World Cup will go live on May 16 at exactly 19.11 hours paying tribute to the year in which Indian football made history. It was the first time that an Indian football club, Mohun Bagan AC, won the IFA shield by defeating an English team, East Yorkshire Regiment.

Welcoming Puyol, FIFA and the LOC said: "It is very exciting to have a champion like Carles Puyol in India. He is an extremely well known player in the country and his presence will excite all football lovers to get involved with the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.

"We hope that it can give a massive boost to the promotion of the Tournament and that fans can relate very positively with him."

Anticipating what will be his first visit to India, Carles Puyol added, "I'm very excited and curious to discover the country and its people. I'm really drawn to the culture of India, its traditional medicine, its food and, of course, the way football is developing there, which is one of the main reasons behind my visit."

Talking about the ticket launch, the 39-year-old said, "I would tell them that the experience of seeing a match live is completely different from watching it on television.

"You can feel the intensity and energy when you're there in person. And at this tournament, you can see the stars of the future. I'm sure that those who attend will remember it and get hooked by the sport."

The tickets for the U-17 World Cup will go live on on May 16 and the start of the sales will be done in conjunction with the live programming of the official broadcasters -- SONY Networks.