The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) have jointly launched an online portal for its ‘Global Scouting Programme’, which is conducting trials for Indians residing abroad.
The aim of this exercise is to prepare a team for the 2017 trials for Indians residing overseas to prepare a team for the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be organised in the country. The proposed team shall have the ability to compete in the youth Bundesliga and may become the "biggest underdogs" in FIFA's mega event. “My team now has the ability to compete in Germany’s youth Bundesliga. We are the biggest underdogs in the U-17 World Cup and we will play with a big heart”, said the Indian Football coach Nicolai, whose boys have put up some impressive performances in the recent past.
The Global Scouting portal has gone live on September 15, 2016. It allows boys, who hold valid Indian passports but are residing overseas, the opportunity to reach out to the scouts of the Indian team. It also allows players residing outside India to submit their playing videos. The scouting team will watch these videos and the shortlisted players would be invited for a round of on-field trials in their country of residence.
Once the on-field trials are conducted by AIFF Director of Scouting Abhishek Yadav, the Indian Football coach Nicolai will also have another look at the selected players before drafting them into the final World Cup squad.
Hailing the concept, India’s Sports Minister Vijay Goel said, “I am happy to launch this online portal. We are taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative of 'Khelo India' ahead”. This is certainly a step in the right direction as it will provide Indian players residing outside the country with Indian passports opportunity to showcase their talent.