India gets rights to host AFC U-16 tournament

 The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Tuesday confirmed that the 2016 AFC U-16 Football Championships would be held in Goa next year.

The 16-nation tournament, which will be held in the month September, will also act as a qualifier event for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will also be held in India in the following year. The top four teams from the competition will qualify for the 2017 event scheduled for the September- November window.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in a letter to its member nations confirmed India as the host of the biennial competition, which is a platform for the younger generation to showcase their talent on the international stage.

“The AFC U-16 Championship will enable our U-16 team to gain valuable experience before the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, while also giving us a great opportunity to test our organisational capabilities before the showpiece event,” said Kushal Das, the AIFF General Secretary.

The Indian federation had expressed its desire to host the continental competition in 2014 as it felt that it would give the nation a better opportunity to prepare itself ahead of the 2017 U-17 World Cup.

India seek French help
In another development, the AIFF, on the sidelines of the FIFA Congress held last week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fédération Française de Football (FFF) seeking technical expertise from the French federation in developing the game in India.

“It’s an honour to enter into an agreement with the French Football Federation,” said Praful Patel, the AIFF President.

“We look forward to learn from their technical expertise for further development of the Sport.”

As per the agreement, the federations have agreed to cooperate with each other in order to develop strong ties between them for the mutual benefit of each association and for the promotion, growth and continued success of football in each country.

It also highlights the collaboration and co-operation through management and officials, technical experts, coaches and referees.

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