The Association Mundial de Futsal (AMF), which is termed a rebel association by world football governing body FIFA, and is supporting the upcoming inaugural Premier Futsal league in India, in support of the development of futsal in India had given India last month a wildcard entry into the AMF organised Under-17 Futsal World Cup to be played in Paraguay from July 11 to 20, 2016.
Debutants India will be captained by Chennai futsal player Bharatraj Selvakumar, who have been drawn in Zone A along with Paraguay, Catalonia and Kazakhstan.
In the other groups amongst the 12 participating nations, Zone B will have Colombia, Belgium, Brazil and Australia; while Zone C will feature Argentina, Uruguay, Morocco and Curazao.
The Indian squad was selected through the Under-17 Nationals which were hosted in Haryana from June 14 to 16. The shortlisted players from the nationals were put through a training camp from June 26 to July 5 in Chennai before 15 players were selected to represent the country at the World Cup.
The squad left for Paraguay on Friday, July 8 morning and would be playing their first game against Catalonia on July 12, followed by league games against Paraguay on July 13 and Kazakhstan on July 14.
“It is a great honour to be representing India at the highest level in any form. To play against other national players who have grown up playing futsal would be a great learning experience for us. We are excited and ready to test ourselves against the best futsal players in the world,” said the 15-year-old Selvakumar.
Futsal Association of India Founding President Namdev Shirgaonkar said, “Futsal is at a very nascent stage in India and sending our U-17 team to the World Cup could be a great opportunity to propagate futsal in India.”
“We have picked 15 of the best futsal players in India and are confident of them putting up a good show at the World Cup. I am hoping this experience helps them come back as better players. We are grateful to the AMF for inviting India to compete in one of its marquee tournaments.”
INDIA Under-17 Futsal World Cup squad
Bharatraj Selvakumar (Captain, Tamil Nadu), Narang Divyansh (goalkeeper, Delhi), Gunavanth Mahendra Duremanthi (goalkeeper, Telangana), Sarvagya Rawat (Karnataka), Ritvik Varghese (Haryana), Prithviraj Kumar (Haryana), Sanket Prasanna Coondapur (Maharashtra), Pulluru Vishruth (Telangana), Siddhant Keshav Dalvi (Maharashtra), Pratyush Sudhir Bokadia Jain (Tamil Nadu), Hriday Anant Khatri (Tamil Nadu), Pranav Manish Chanana (Maharashtra), Jeet Sampat (Tamil Nadu), Sreejit Neelakant (Delhi), Hriday Parakh (Maharashtra).
Aloysius Joseph Vaz (Coach, Maharashtra)