FIFA U17 World Cup 2017: AIFF to Conduct U14 I-League to spot talents

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Exclusive on FIFA U17 World Cup 2017

The All India Football Federation has mooted a unique plan of conducting an U14 I-League next season onward to build a strong team for the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 to be hosted by India.

The current I-league clubs, the second division clubs, all the recognized football academies across the country and the players in AIFF-FIFA academies would participate in such league which could see over 500 kids showcasing their talents to become part off the coveted national team.

The major hurdle however is finance as conducting such a huge nationwide tournament would require strong finances which AIFF lacks. The organizers are planning to conduct the U14 I-League in two stages; the first round would be zonal and the final round would be on home/away basis with top teams from different zones.

AIFF would also be recruiting scouts to observe the matches and pick skillful players for better training in the elite academy.

A major challenge in this direction remains, which is verifying the age of participating kids as age-fraud is very rampant in Indian sports and AIFF do not want a repeat of the Kalyani scouting fiasco where majority of the scouted kids were rejected after they failed age-test.

AIFF secretary Mr Kushal Das also informed that they would be seeking help from FIFA in scouting and building a strong team for the U17 FIFA World cup 2017.

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