A huge dream came to life on the 6 th of October when thousands of people lined up in front of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, not to watch the Indian cricket team, not to watch the Indian football team but to watch the Indian UNDER 17 football team take centre stage to face the United States of America (U17). Yes, it’s the FIFA U17 World cup and our country is hosting it. This is the first time India is hosting a FIFA event and the first time India is participating in a FIFA event. It was indeed one of India’s biggest day in world football.
The stage was all set. The grand venue was filled with an amazing home crowd from different parts of the country to support these talented kids as they take the country’s burden on their shoulders. The Indian team had gone through a merciless 5-6 months with camps and practice matches held around the world. But the task was not easy. The USA team came in with a strong set of established defenders and midfielders which was not going to make India’s life any easier. India also boasted of a few talents like that of Komal Thatal and Abhijit Sarkar to name a few. The match kicked off at 8 pm IST following the national anthems.
India went on to lose 3-0 but that did not matter to the fans at the stadium. The fight was all that mattered. Fans present at the stadium were quite magnificent, and the boys received every bit of applause they needed for those 90 minutes. It was a wonderful sight to see every single fan wait until the lap of acknowledging the history these kids have written. Nehru stadium was filled with Chants, slogans, Mexican waves and it was an absolute delight.The Indian team had a nervous start to the match but all that followed was sheer resilience. India had its moments with few shots on target and one shot even hitting the crossbar but all that India lacked were goals. But again, it was not about that at all. A journey that has kicked off in the right direction has a long way to go. Emergence of bigger talents and bigger opportunities are all that matter to take Indian football to places it has never seen. The nation salutes these wonder kids who have planted the seed for a revolution that is upon us now!