Football: India appoints new U-17 coach after alleged fallout between players and Nikolai Adam


With less than 8 months to go to the Under 17 World Cup, all eyes are on India who will for the first time host a major football event. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the tournament slated to be held in October but a number of obstacles keep impeding its smooth sailing. A few months ago, questions had arisen as to the preparation of the event and if the stadiums would be up to standards. After much work, FIFA finally gave all the stadiums including Guwahati the green light.

Now a different problem has arisen which FIFA has taken notice of. Delhi which is one of the host cities now has a problem. Smog issues of the polluted city is a cause of concern. What is even more worrying to the authorities is the timing issue as the U-17 World Cup will be held around the time of Diwali which has regularly seen pollution levels in the city increase. A new venue and host city will have to be sought out as respite seems unusual in the Delhi situation which has been struggling to grapple with the rising levels of pollution which has over the past few years reached alarming levels.

FIFA came out with a statement which showed how serious they were about the issue and with Delhi being the most polluted capital city in the world, it is unlikely that they will risk the health of all in the tournament.

The U-17 Indian team had done relatively alright in the BRICS tournament which was held in Goa towards the end of the previous year with an Indian player scoring against Brazil for the first time in history. Although they failed to win any games, there was still some optimism surrounding the team. However, in a recent tournament in Europe, the team played abysmally and finished bottom in the tournament which saw 16 nations compete. They won just one game against Belarus. There was cause of concern that the team was not living up to its potential.

Rumours emerged that there was friction between the players and Coach Nikolai Adam. The alleged fall-out has brought about his replacement. After considering many worthy candidates, Luis Norton de Matos from Portugal will now coach the U-17 Indian team. With limited time, he will have to turn around the fortunes of the young team and hope he can bring out the best in the young boys. India has some very good players in the team with Aman Chhetri being one of the bright lights. Luis has a good track record and is immensely praised by Portugal National coach Fernando Santos. The former U-21 Portugal Coach has his work cut out for him but with his experience as football director at Portugal's premier club Sporting Lisbon, we are hopeful he is the right man for the job.

Now with the spotlight on the country, India will hope to cement itself as an emerging footballing country. China are already on their way there as they have had major stars from the football world sign into their league such as Tevez, Ramires and Oscar. They also plan to have over 50,000 football academies by the year 2025. Concrete goals and plans such as these will definitely help the country move forward, now it is time for India to show the world that they also can be a force to be reckoned with.

(TNT News)