A marquee Mission XI Million Football Festival was held at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad in the presence of All India Football Federation President, Praful Patel; former Indian Football Team Captain, Baichung Bhutia, Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and TransStadia Founder & MD, Udit Sheth.
Having reached out to over 1.7 million kids already from all corners of the country, MXIM is closer to its goal of introducing the game of football to 11 million children before FIFA U-17 World Cup begins on October 6.
In Ahmedabad, around 6,000 children were seen at the festival engaging in a variety of fun activities including exhibition games. The lucky kids were felicitated and had the opportunity to show off the skills they have gained through the programme in front of Hrithik Roshan, and Baichung Bhutia, who many called their heroes.
Speaking at the festival, President AIFF and Chairman of the LOC for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, Praful Patel said, “Mission XI Million has managed to take the game out to the masses of the country. While it’s very heartening to see them embrace the game, it also bestows additional responsibility upon us to develop the game further.”
“This event is a watershed moment in the history of football in this wonderful state of Gujarat, and we hope over the next few months – these kids who were felicitated today will sustain the interest and take it forward.”
Expanding on the initiative, actor and part owner, FC Pune City Hrithik Roshan added, “Football and sports, in general, is a great medium to imbibe qualities and values in children – I am thus delighted to be here for the Mission XI Million Festival. I think it’s an excellent initiative. I hope more and more children take up the game because they can really make the difference.”
On behalf of The Arena by TransStadia, the iconic venue for Festival, Founder and Managing Director of the facility Udit Sheth said, “We are extremely proud to have hosted the marquee MXIM Football Festival here. As one of the most technologically advanced football stadiums in the country, we hope that visiting players and fans alike will aspire to for similar set-ups across India. We want to thank FIFA, AIFF, and the Government of India for the opportunity and strive to become India’s backbone for sport.”
A legacy project of the first FIFA tournament that will be held in the country, the marquee MXIM festival in The Arena, TransStadia, proved to be another milestone in the journey of the project. Tipped to be the largest school contact programme in the country, Mission XI Million will reach out to 11 million children before the FIFA U-17 World Cup begins in October later this year.