Team India: Youth is the base of the future

What does your federation do for the youth in your country?

Youth is the base of the future. Minifootball India has given importance for youth and grassroot minifootball development. As a part of this, every year we have National Championship for U10, U12, U14 and U16 years kids to promote Minifootball in youth.

Unfortunately our kids were not getting international platform to present their talent, but we would like to thank our dear Vice President Mr. Vitthal Shirgaonkar together with Mr. Peter Kralik (WMF Vice President – Europe) and Mr. Kevin (WMF EC member), that they initiated this youth development and special thanks to Slovak Minifootball Association (SZMF) as they are supporting this initiative to provide a platform for youth at international level.

How many players and what age will you bring with you?

Minifootball Association of India is bringing 3 teams U11, U13 and U15, so together approximately 40-45 athletes and officials. This initiative has been appreciated by many parents and they are willing to travel to see their child playing at international level.

What brings you to our minifootball tournament in Slovakia and what do you hope to achieve while you’re here?

Excitement to represent India in an International minifootball tournament. Dream to win youth title for our nation, spirit of fair play, true sportsmanship and international friendship is what brings us to minifootball tournament in Slovakia.

And of course the hopes to achieve success while our team will be in Slovakia.

What is your experience with minifootball and have you ever participated in or organized a similar tournament before?

Minifootball is something that is made for amateur football players to achieve their dreams to represent their country on an international platform. It is a rapidly growing sport and easily accessible due to its compact format. Our team has participated in all competitions organised by WMF at international level. 

How do you see minifootball evolving in the future and what role do you think tournaments like this will play in its development?

As we already mentioned, minifootball is a rapidly growing sport around the world. It’s becoming popular in India due to the reduced size of the pitch and fast format. In India cricket is very famous and Gully Cricket is a form of cricket played more than regular cricket. Minifootball is similar to Gully Football (means football can be played anywhere) and the tournament like this is promoting and helping young athletes to target their dream to represent themselves at international level.

What are your impressions of Slovakia as a country, its people, culture, and hospitality?

This is what we will love to answer on our last day in Bratislava. But we have heard about the EMF Euro which was one of the best minifootball tournaments in history of the sport. Hence our athletes are expecting the same impression and hospitality.

Are you curious about our cuisine, what do you think is our national food or what it contains and will you bring something special for your cousine?

As the entire world is aware, India is known for its variety of cuisines and especially spices. Hence our team is more curious about slovak cousines, how it will be prepared and importantly will it taste like Indian food or not. Our mens and U23 teams have already traveled for the World Cup in Europe, as Slovakia is a european country we can expect some type of similarity. but still our team would love to taste the traditional food of Slovakia and definitely we will bring some ready to eat food and spices so our team can ask for some type of indian preparation in Bratislava.

What advice do you have for organizers of future minifootball tournaments and what lessons have you learned from your own experiences?

To take care of athletes at its best, taking care of events from all perspectives such as accommodation, food, local assistance and fair competition is the key for success.

We hope these standards will be followed in every minifootball competition. 

What are your thoughts on the importance of sports and sporting events in bringing people and communities together, particularly in a global context?

Sports events at international level always give the best way to exchange cultures from different nations, friendship which is beyond the sports and the best part allows the world to gather at one place.

Finally, what are your hopes and expectations for the future of the world of minifootball and how do you see it evolving over the coming years?

Minifootball has a great future. The scope and the base are the amateur players that are big in numbers. The small and fast format is the strength of minifootball which will be the key behind its success.

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