Vijay Goel, Praful Patel unveil FIFA U-17 mascot

In an event in which the official mascot of the Under-17 World Cup was also launched, the football drive was made to cater to the interest of football loving students with matches on smaller grounds between four- or five-a-side teams.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) President, Praful Patel (left), and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel, with the U-17 World Cup mascot.   -  AIFF Media

The Mission 11 million, a football initiative aimed towards taking the game to 12,000 schools in 37 cities across the country was set rolling by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

In an event in which the official mascot of the Under-17 World Cup was also launched, the football drive was made to cater to the interest of football loving students with matches on smaller grounds between four- or five-a-side teams.

Through the project, school children will be encouraged to play football regularly and help them gain healthy habits, fine-tune motor skills, learn life lessons in team work and cultivate sportsman spirit. There will be seminars for teachers, school activities and football festivals till September, as a prelude to the Under-17 World Cup scheduled to be staged in October.

"There is a lot of interest in the sport among the youngsters and they are very passionate about it. We want to transform this passion into something more concrete. This is a mission to connect with these kids, to change football and sports in India forever," said the Sports Minister, Vijay Goel.

He also stressed on the attempts made towards developing a sports culture in the country with projects like Khelo India that gave everyone a chance to play the game they liked.

‘’With the FIFA Under-17 World Cup being held in India, we are building our infrastructure and showcasing our ability to organise and execute global sporting events," the minister said.

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