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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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What hosting the U-17 Women's World Cup could mean for India

India have been awarded the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, their second FIFA event inside three years after having hosted the 2017 variant of the same event in men's football.

While the dates and venues haven't been decided yet, with the former yet to be pencilled in within FIFA's own calendar of events, here's what India can learn from the 2017 event, and how best to apply those lessons in 2020.

In terms of organisation, there should be no issues

The 2017 World Cup proved that India can put...

India need defensive discipline, improved finishing in U-16 quarter-finals

India held Indonesia to a draw in their final game to reach the last eight of the U-16 Championships for the first time since 2002.
India held Indonesia to a draw in their final game to reach the last eight of the U-16 Championships for the first time since 2002.

India are through to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championships in Malaysia, following a goalless draw with Indonesia in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. This will be their first appearance at the last eight of this event, a qualification for the U-17 World Cup in Peru in 2019, since 2002.

While they have put in spirited efforts in all three group games, their maturity will be stretched in the quarterfinal, where they are likely to face in-form South Korea on Monday in order to qualify for the U-17...

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...