We are close to making history! 

In October, India will host a FIFA World Cup for the very first time. The best teams from around the globe will descend to India to participate in the U-17 World Cup. 

India named a 21-member football team on Thursday for the showpiece event. The 21 boys will not only carry the hopes of 1.3 billion Indians, they will also be the first players to represent the nation in the finals of a FIFA competition. 

Head coach Luis Norton de Matos has also included two NRIs in his final squad. Defender Namit Deshpande and goalkeeper Sunny Dhaliwal are the first NRIs to be included in the Indian team. 

In an effort to field a strong team for the World Cup, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had provided exposure tours for the India U-17s. They faced Macedonia, Serbia and Benfica among other teams. 

The Indian colts had also participated in a four-nation tournament in Mexico where they lost against Mexico and Colombia, but held Chile to a 1-1 draw despite having a player sent off.

The World Cup will be held across 6 cities from October 6. India have been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana. The hosts face USA on October 6, followed by Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

The World Cup will be broadcast live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3.

Feature image: AIFF