Karnataka’s Rishi, TN’s Nathania to be Official Match Ball Carriers at FIFA WC

India captain Sunil Chhetri conducted the trials last month and had a tough time zeroing in on the two kids.

The official FIFA World Cup match ball.   -  Getty Images

10-year old Rishi Tej of Karnataka and 11-year-old Nathania John K of Tamil Nadu will be the two Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.

One of them will carry the match ball during the Belgium vs Panama game while the other will get a chance to get onto the pitch before the Brazil vs Costa Rica match.

As an automotive partner of FIFA, Kia Motors India has created an exciting opportunity for Indian football players between the ages of 10-14 to experience the 2018 FIFA World Cup as part of the Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) program.

India captain Sunil Chhetri conducted the trials in Gurgaon last month and had a tough time zeroing in on the two kids, who would be the country’s first OMBCs.

As many as 1600 children participated in the programme, with 50 short-listed for the final selections.

It was amazing to see so many talented young kids together, Chettri said.

I thank Kia for giving this opportunity to the football-loving kids of our country. It augurs well for the future of the sport, he added.

Under the FIFA OMBC programme, 64 schools kids from different countries, including two from India, will get this once in a life time opportunity to not only walk alongside some of the world’s best players but to also watch a World Cup match.

It is a proud moment for Kia Motors India that these two OMBCs will be India’s official representation at the FIFA World Cup. Just as these kids are passionate about football, Kia is passionate about making great cars, said Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and CEO - Kia Motors India.

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