AIFF launches global scouting programme for U-17 WC team

The programme, named the SAI-AIFF Overseas Scouting Project (OSP), will kick off with on-field trials in Dubai on June 10-11 for 2000 & 2001 born boys residing in the UAE and nearby states/countries.

Indian U-17 head coach Nicolai Adam with his players.   -  Special Arrangement

In an effort to scout players for the U-16 national team presently preparing for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the All India Football Federation in collaboration with Sports Authority of India has launched a global scouting programme.

The programme, named the SAI-AIFF Overseas Scouting Project (OSP), will kick off with on-field trials in Dubai on June 10-11 for 2000 & 2001 born boys residing in the UAE and nearby states/countries.

The programme, which targets boys currently holding solely Indian passports has been conceived by ex-India captain and AIFF Director of Scouting Abhishek Yadav and will move to other countries in the coming months.

The U-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India during September-October 2017.

An online video management platform will be launched after the Dubai trials for eligible players residing outside India to submit their playing videos. The scouting team will watch these videos and shortlisted players would be invited for a round of on-field trials in their country of residence or to a country in that region.

Yadav will conduct these trials along with his scouting team with Indian U-17 head coach Nicolai Adam having another close look at the selected players before drafting them into the final World Cup squad.

Hailing the concept, AIFF President Praful Patel said it’s “essential that everyone gets a fair chance“.

“The U-17 World Cup is a significant event in the Indian football calendar and to ensure that we field our best team, the AIFF has ventured out to NRIs holding Indian passports to give their kids a chance to represent India,” he said.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das thanked SAI, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Ministry of External Affairs for backing this project.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the wholehearted support of the Sports Ministry and SAI. I need to thank them for their support to ensure a foolproof scouting system as we zero down on the final squad for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup,” he stated.

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