2017 FIFA U-17 WC: Hosts India invite 3 World Cup-winning legends to opening ceremony

New Delhi, India (PANA) - The FIFA U-17 World Cup in India this year promises to have a grand opening with three former World Cup winners and legends of the game - Ronaldo Nazario, Ronaldinho Gaucho and Diego Maradona - set to grace the biggest footballing stage India has had yet.

According to sources, the Indian government has requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to engage the 3 superstars to raise the profile of the Under-17 World Cup, the very first FIFA tournament to be hosted by India.

At different stages of the Under-17 World Cup's preparation, iconic footballers have visited the country, lending the age-group tournament in India a global appeal. Spain's former World Cup winning defender Carles Puyol kick started the World Cup's ticket sales in May this year, while Nwankwo Kanu and Esteban Cambiasso were the main attraction of the draw that took place last month.

Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Maradona are certainly a notch above Puyol, Kanu and Cambiasso and their presence during the opening ceremony will certainly add glamour to the Under-17 World Cup.

The Under-17 World Cup kicks off on 6 October with four matches scheduled on the opening day. The opening ceremony, on 5 October, was originally planned to be staged at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi but FIFA's refusal to open the gates a day before the start of the tournament means that the Indira Gandhi Arena will be the venue for the gala.

FIFA doesn't endorse the concept of opening ceremony but the Government of India is keen to portray the country's progress using the Under-17 World Cup and the development programmes it kick-started as a tool. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to deliver a 15-minute speech during the opening ceremony which will witness the presence of top Indian personalities, including senior national team players and movie stars.

The biggest attraction for football fans on 5 October will definitely be the three legends of the game. Brazil and Argentina are two national teams who enjoy fanatical following in India, and Maradona, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are three of the best footballers to have ever come out of the two South American countries.

It remains to be seen whether the government's wishes are fulfilled. If they are, Indian football fans are in for a treat.

Here is the schedule for 6 October:

Colombia vs Ghana, in Delhi.

New Zealand vs Turkey, in Mumbai.

India vs USA, in Delhi

Paraguay vs Mali, in Mumbai
-0- PANA VAO 10Aug2017

10 august 2017 15:35:30

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