Goa to host five-nation U-16 tourney in May

pnaji: India's under-17 World Cup squad will square up to foreign opposition for the first time at home when they take part in a five-nation tournament to be played in Goa.

The five-nation tournament involving under-16 teams from United States, South Korea, Tanzania and Malaysia will be played from May 16-27 at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.

The tournament, first of its kind in the country, will be India's preparation for the AFC Under-16 Championship 2016 also to be played in Goa between September 15 and October 2, 2016. The draw for the championship will conducted in May.

"(Under-17) Coach Nicolai Adam wants the best possible preparation for the team ahead of the AFC Under-16 Championship 2016 and the under-17 World Cup next year. The five-nation tournament will be a good test," said a senior official from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The Indian squad have played several friendlies around the globe but will be seen in action against international teams for the first time in India.

Once the five-nation tournament in Goa comes to an end, the under-17 World Cup squad will continue their preparations in Germany and Holland where they will have two camps in Frankfurt and in Duisburg, besides friendlies against international opposition.

According to the plan submitted to the AIFF, the team will return to Goa on August 22 and prepare for the all-important AFC Under-16 Championship 2016 with another round of friendlies.

The AFC Under-16 Championship is the final stage of the Asian qualifiers for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup India 2017 and will involve 16 nations. The teams who have made it to the Championship are Uzbekistan, Oman, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, DPR Korea, Korea Republic, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, UAE and India.

The AFC Under-16 Championship will serve as the final official tournament preparation of the Indian national team for the FIFA under-17 World Cup India 2017.

Source: Times Of India

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