New Delhi: Qualifying for the FIFA World Cup
finals may be a distant dream for India but AIFF secretary
Alberto Colaco is optimistic that the country will make its
mark in the international football in another 10 years.
"I think, in another 10 years we will be able to make our
presence felt in world football," Colaco said today.
Colaco was present at a felicitation function of the 16
budding footballers, who will get once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to attend a six-day training camp in South Africa.
Besides the Coca-Cola International 2010 Football Camp,
which is commencing from June 15 in Tuks Village in Pretoria,
the team members will also get the taste of the soccer fever
there while watching a FIFA World Cup match between the hosts
and Uruguay on June 16.
The young footballers have been chosen on the basis of
their performance in last year`s Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy.
During their stay in South Africa the team will play in a
tournament, also involving teams from Mexico, Russia, Turkey,
Vietnam, Egypt, and Guatemala.
"I would like to congratulate the 16 selected players and
wish them all the best for participating in the camp in South
Africa. This partnership with Coca-Cola will help the young
players and also play a key role in encouraging them to adopt
football as a preferred sport," Colaco said.
"We are happy to send these 16 young and talented players
to South Africa. We believe that Indian football has the
potential to make a mark in global arena but for that it is
important to tap and nurture the talents," said Atul Singh,
CEO and president of Coca-Cola India.
Suhas SN of Bangalore, a member of the team, was quite
excited to be a part of the camp.
"Our selection procedure was very tough. But now I am
very happy because we are going to represent India," said the
"I congratulate them because this is the first time Coca-
Cola has taken this initiative and the under-16 boys are
going to watch the FIFA World Cup," said Satheevan Balan, who
will accompany the boys in South Africa.