FIFA WC 2018: In a first, 2 Indian boys named official match ball carriers

As many as 1600 children participated in the programme, with 50 short-listed for the final selections.

FIFA WC 2018: In a first, 2 Indian boys named official match ball carriers
IANS photo

MOSCOW: Two Indian kids - Rishi Tej (10) of Karnataka and Nathania John K (11) of Tamil Nadu - have been picked as the Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

One of the boys will carry the ball during Belgium vs Panama match scheduled for June 18, Monday. The other one will get an opportunity to get onto the pitch ahead of Brazil vs Costa Rica match on June 22, Friday.

As an automotive partner of FIFA, Kia Motors India has created an exciting opportunity for Indian football players between the ages of 10-14 to experience the 2018 FIFA World Cup as part of the Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) program.

India captain Sunil Chhetri conducted the trials in Gurgaon last month and had a tough time zeroing in on the two kids, who would be the country's first OMBCs.

As many as 1600 children participated in the programme, with 50 short-listed for the final selections.

It was amazing to see so many talented young kids together, Chettri said.

I thank Kia for giving this opportunity to the football-loving kids of our country. It augurs well for the future of the sport, he added.

Under the FIFA OMBC programme, 64 schools kids from different countries, including two from India, will get this once in a life time opportunity to not only walk alongside some of the worlds best players but to also watch a World Cup match.

It is a proud moment for Kia Motors India that these two OMBCs will be India's official representation at the FIFA World Cup. Just as these kids are passionate about football, Kia is passionate about making great cars, said Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director & CEO- Kia Motors India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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