Barca youth team could visit India

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian representatives to organise the BRICS under-17 Football Cup in India in April next year.

The organisers also cited the possibility of roping in Barcelona's youth team, who would be participating in the tournament as a special invitee. Apart from Barcelona youth team, BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- will be competing in the tournament. The matches will be played at Ambedkar Stadium here.

“Barcelona youth side could be part of the BRICS U-17 tournament, we are discussing that possibility,” said Joao Gilberto Vaz, Project Leader and Tournament Organiser and launched the logo and slogan for the tournament 'BRICS, Together We Win.’

“The tournament would be held every year in the host country of BRICS summit. The tournament will strengthen even more the relations between BRICS nations. India has become an emerging football market with the Indian Super League and is a key player in all segments within BRICS,” added Vaz.

The MoU was signed by the ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat, and Vaz, in the presence of the Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary at Sports Ministry. Kedia hailed the initiative. “Such tournaments will help India in making football popular in the country. Further it will help us raise our standards, skills and expertise,” he said.

Javier Ceppi, tournament director of under-17 FIFA World Cup viewed the tournament as an opportunity for India to gauge their preparedness for the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Kedia said Sports Ministry was open to bilateral tournaments in any sports with Pakistan but said it could do little as the security clearance and other political considerations were the prerogative of Home Ministry.

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