Players choose Amarjit to lead India in U-17 World Cup
Panaji: Mid-fielder Amarjit Singh has been unanimously elected as the captain of Indian team for the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be held across the country.
Coach Luis Norton de Matos had suggested four names and had asked each of the 27 players in the team to write on a sheet of paper their choice for captaincy.
The first name would get five points, the next three and the final choice one.
The players unanimously voted for Amarjit as their captain for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup which begins in New Delhi on October 6.
Jitendra Singh, who was second, will be Amarjit's deputy.
While, Suresh Singh, who led India at the AFC Under-16 Championship last year, received the third highest votes.
Defender Sanjeev Stalin finished fourth, an AIFF official said.
Born and brought up in Manipur, Amarjit was introduced to the game by his uncle and he soon found himself at the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA).
When the selectors were hunting for players to represent India at the Under-17 World Cup, Amarjit was invited for trials and he caught the eye of everyone.
At first he was slotted with the reserve side and made the first team grade after German coach Nicolai Adam was impressed with his abilities in midfield.
Coach Luis Norton de Matos on Tuesday said that he wants to show the world his side can play football during the World Cup which is scheduled to start from October 6.
"All games are winnable in football, there is no game which can't be won. Even if there is a five percent chance of winning we will fight for it, We want to show that the Indian team is as organised as the rest of the world and if we can show the world that we too can play football, it would be even better," Matos told the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The hosts are currently training for the U-17 World Cup in Goa. The colts earlier took part in a Four-Nation Tournament in Mexico after being part of exposure trips in Europe, facing national teams and club teams such as Benfica, Serbia and Macedonia amongst others.
"The level of the Indian U-17s is very high but come the FIFA U-17 World Cup it will be a different ball game altogether. However, if we can prove that the Indian team can play on the same page as the opposition in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, there is a victory in that," the Portuguese said.
"Every game you play either you win or it is a learning experience. Against Chile and Macedonia, we registered good results but the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be a competition and competitions are different from friendly games," Matos added.
The 63-year-old who played five matches for Portugal also said the World Cup experience will be unique in Indian football history and he is delighted to be a part of it.
"It is amazing to be a part of a unique moment in Indian football's history. I am very happy to be a part of it. If the players continue to play with hard work and dedication and chart goals for them, they can go on to be some of the best in the coming years," he said.
"The players are already heroes because they will be playing in India's first ever participation in a FIFA World Cup. This generation can inspire many coming generations to take up football in India," Matos added.