‘Youth Cup to evaluate progress of U-17 football team’

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary Kushal Das on Wednesday said the Youth Cup which is scheduled to begin on May 15, will help evaluate the progress of the nation’s under-17 World Cup team.

The tournament which features the U-16 national teams of the United States, South Korea, Tanzania, Malaysia and India will be held in Goa.

India will host the U-17 World Cup next year.

“It is essential to evaluate the progress made by the U-16 team which is preparing for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup (to be hosted in India in 2017) and to understand where we need to improve further,” Das said in an AIFF release.

“While the All India Football Federation has a detailed plan for exposures to various countries, it is such tournaments can give us a good indication of the progress.”

Das said as the World Cup will have top teams from all over the world their aim is to now send the national outfit for more exposure trips abroad.

“As the U-17 World Cup will have representation from all continents, the idea is to make the U-17 World Cup team play quality opposition during their exposure tours,” he said.

“They have already been to Germany, Spain, the UAE, South Africa and would be embarking on more exposure tours to Europe and Brazil.”

Asked if the AIFF plans to have the tourney as an annual event, Das said,”It’s too early to commit whether it will be an annual event of not. Based on the response and the benefits of the inaugural edition, we will take a decision on it later.”

–IANS

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