FIFA U-17 World Cup: Amarjit Singh to Captain India - Report
With just over two weeks left to India's first ever FIFA World Cup match, sources have told ToI, that midfielder Amarjit Singh Khiyam is all set to lead the team out at the JLN Stadium in the national capital against USA on October 6th.
(Courtesy: Indian Football Team/Twitter)
New Delhi: With just over two weeks left to India's first ever FIFA World Cup match, sources have told ToI, that midfielder Amarjit Singh Khiyam is all set to lead the team out at the JLN Stadium in the national capital against USA on October 6th.
As reported by the leading daily, young Amarjit was chosen as the captain by his teammates through a process of secret ballot that was engineered by the Portugese coach Luis Norton de Matos.
All the 27 players present at the national camp were asked to submit their three choices in order of preference for the arm band. The first of three names would get five points while the second would get three and the last one would get one point.
Once the players completed the process of voting, it has been learnt that 26 players had Amarjit in their list, with most affording the midfield general the top spot in their list.
“From the 27 players who voted, Amarjit’s name featured on the list of 26 players. Most of them had him as their first choice. There were four who named him second choice and he was third on the list of three players. But, there was no doubt that he was the unanimous choice as captain,” a source told TOI on Monday.
Amarjit, who has represented India in the age group teams on 29 occasions, is the joint most experienced player at the camp alongside Komal Thatal, the only Indian to score against a Brazilian national team. Jitendra Singh is in all likelihood going to be named as Amarjit's deputy.
Coach Matos appeared delighted with the choice, although he was non-committal on the votes that each player received according to the report.
“I have four players as captains,” Matos told TOI, without revealing names. “The players know who their leader on the field is. The players, who were chosen through a secret ballot, are the same players who I wanted as captain,” added the Portuguese coach.
The one condition that de Matos set well before the secret ballot began was that a goalkeeper should not be picked as the captain. “I don’t want a goalkeeper as captain,” he told the players, before adding, “A captain should be one in the centre of the field. Whenever there is an issue, I don’t want the goalkeeper to run all the way from his goal to where the referee is located.”
Born and brought up in Manipur, Amarjit's introduction to the beautiful game came about through his uncle and he soon found himself far away from home, at the Chandigarh Football Academy.
When the selectors were hunting for players to represent India at the U-17 World Cup, Amarjit was invited for trials and he caught the eye of everyone. Initially, he was slotted with the reserve side and made the first-team grade after German coach Nicolai Adam was impressed with his abilities in midfield.
The Indian team are currently in the middle of preparatory camp for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in Goa and will take on Mauritius on the 20th of September in a warm up match.
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