The All India Football Federation (AIFF) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) launched a global scouting programme on Tuesday to identify players for the U-16 team presently preparing for the U-17 World Cup.
The U-17 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India during September-October 2017.
The programme has been named the SAI-AIFF Overseas Scouting Project (OSP). It will kick-off with on-field trials in Dubai on June 10-11 for 2000 and 2001 born boys residing in the United Arab Emirates and nearby states/countries, AIFF said in a release.
The programme is targeted at boys currently holding Indian passports. It will move to other countries in the coming months.
An online video management platform will be launched after the Dubai trials for eligible players residing outside India to submit their playing videos. The scouting team will watch these videos and the shortlisted players would be invited for a round of on-field trials in their country of residence or to a country in that region.
The selected players will be closely looked at by Indian U-17 head coach Nicolai Adam before drafting them into the final World Cup squad.
“The U-17 World Cup is a significant event in the Indian football calendar and to ensure that we field our best team, the AIFF has ventured out to NRIs holding Indian passports to give their kids a chance to represent India,” AIFF president Praful Patel said in the release.
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the wholehearted support of the sports ministry and SAI. I need to thank them for their support to ensure a foolproof scouting system as we zero down on the final squad for the 2017 U-17 World Cup,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said.