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To grow football, play more football

FIFA Under-17 World Cup
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For India's U-17s, 'Arrows' route is way ahead

FIFA Under-17 World Cup
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After climbing ladder, India hit the wall

FIFA Under-17 World Cup
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Ghana U17Ghana U17
India U17India U17
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Smells like teen spirit

India U17
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India announce themselves to the world

FIFA Under-17 World Cup
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Why you should care about the Under-16 Championships

The four semi-finalists from the U-16 Championships will qualify for the 2019 U17 World Cup in Peru.
The four semi-finalists from the U-16 Championships will qualify for the 2019 U17 World Cup in Peru.

Almost a year since India's FIFA debut at the U-17 World Cup, their successors will eye qualification for the 2019 edition in Peru, when they start their AFC U-16 Championships campaign against Vietnam in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

What's at stake?

The other two teams in India's Group C are 2016 AFC U-16 runners-up Iran and Indonesia, and India must finish in the top four of the 16-team tournament to qualify as one of the Asian Football Confederation teams for the U-17 World Cup next year.

India...

To grow football, play more football

It's been an eventful week since the completion of the U-17 World Cup, the first FIFA event hosted by the Indian subcontinent. While the headlines since then have been dominated by the court ruling that removed All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel from his post, there's a need to look beyond the immediate and see what the World Cup did for India and where Indian football can go from here.

So can the World Cup make a difference?

'The passion (for football) is growing; the access to the sport on TV is growing.'
'The passion (for football) is growing; the access to the sport on TV is growing.'

Santosh Desai, columnist and CEO of Future Brands...

For India's U-17s, 'Arrows' route is way ahead

Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (second from right) scored India's only goal at a FIFA event, in the group stage match against Colombia.
Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (second from right) scored India's only goal at a FIFA event, in the group stage match against Colombia.

The Indian team, which won praise for its performance at the U-17 World Cup, its maiden showing in any FIFA event, have their immediate plans chalked out -- they will start with participation in the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers in the first week of November. The best U-17 players will then team up with some of the best U-19 players and play in the I-League as a separate club. Remuneration for their participation will be taken care of by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), according to...

FIFA: U-17 WC proves India can host 'major events'

Security personnel outside Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, one of the venues for the U-17 World Cup.
Security personnel outside Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, one of the venues for the U-17 World Cup.

FIFA's head of competitions Jamie Yarza has praised India's readiness to host "major events" in world football, speaking at a press conference alongside All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel and Local Organising Committee (LOC) tournament director Javier Ceppi, in Kolkata on Thursday.

Yarza's comments come a day ahead of a FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Kolkata, where Patel has said he will utilise an invitation to give a speech to re-emphasise India's desire to host the...

Under-17 WC has big-event feel, but Olympics in a league of its own

In the spotlight: The whole world was watching as India hosted its first ever global football tournament.
Lights, cameras, action: The Under-17 World Cup in India has been a resounding success

For a sports journalist, the buzz of being under the big tent of a "global" or "world" event is hard to replicate. At some point, you pinch yourself to ensure that your subconscious self takes note of being first-hand witness to something unique, a momentous and defining piece of a sporting history.

This then is that personal reminder that India's Under-17 World Cup has been, at a personal level, an exercise of discovery, invention and the forever-whirling magic of global football.

In terms of nation-v-nation...