India, Japan to promote football ahead of U-17 FIFA World Cup

The decisions were taken during a meeting between Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and a 12-member delegation from Japan led by Hase Hiroshi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan.

India under-17 probables team forms a huddle before its exhibition match against a Maharashtra XI at Cooperage grounds in Mumbai.   -  Prashant Nakwe

With the U-17 FIFA World Cup set to be held in the country next year, India and Japan have decided to exchange players, coaches and sports experts to improve the standard of the game in both the nations in the run up to the tournament.

It is also agreed that the two countries will play some friendly matches ahead of the tournament.

The decisions were taken during a meeting between Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and a 12-member delegation from Japan led by Hase Hiroshi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan.

Both the sides also agreed for exchange of sportspersons, coaches, sports experts, sports administrators, etc., and decided that they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of sports, a statement from the Sports Ministry said.

The Japanese minister informed that the government of Japan has launched a programme named, ‘Sport For Tomorrow’ to promote sports among more than 10 million people in 100 nations between 2014 and 2020. In 2020, Tokyo will be hosting the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The goal is to spread values learned through sports and increase awareness of the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

Sonowal welcomed Japan’s initiative and stated that India will certainly like to avail coaches and instructors in those sports disciplines, where Japan is strong. Sonowal also accepted the Japanese minister’s invitation to attend ‘World Forum on Sport and Culture’ to be held in October 2016 in Tokyo.

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