Brazil, England, New Zealand to train, play at Andheri complex

Three-time champions Brazil, England and New Zealand are to train and play a few practice games at the Mumbai Football Arena in suburban Andheri here in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled in India from October 6-28.

“Brazil, England and New Zealand will train and practice at the Mumbai Football Arena from September 26 for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“Around the same time, the senior Indian team will also be practicing there for the Macau game (Asian Cup qualifier),” said Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) president Aditya Thackeray at a media conference today.

Brazil will play against New Zealand in a practice game on September 28 at the Andheri complex with the kick-off scheduled at 5 pm, said Thackeray.

“On September 30 Brazil want to play against a senior Indian (club) team,” he said, adding that a third practice game will also be held at the same venue on October 1 between the U-17 World Cup sides of England and New Zealand.

According to MDFA sources, three senior outfits – Navy, Air India and Pune City FC – have been sounded out to be ready to play the game against the Brazil U-17 World Cup outfit.

In all, eight games in the tournament, comprising six preliminary group fixtures, a round of 16 game and one semi- final match, are scheduled to be held at Navi Mumbai’s D Y Patil Stadium, far away from the Andheri Sports Complex.

Although Brazil, winners of the age group competition three times between 1997 and 2003, and England won’t be playing any of their preliminary group games in the D Y Patil Stadium, they have preferred to start their preparations in this metropolis.

Brazil have been placed in Group D along with DPR Korea, Niger and Spain, while England – who have made it to the age group tournament’s finals for only the fourth time – are in Group F that also contains Iraq, Mexico and Chile.

Brazil kick off their campaign against Spain at Kochi on October 7, while England begin theirs against Chile at Kolkata on the next day.

New Zealand, figuring in the U-17 tournament finals for the eighth time, have been grouped in Pool B with Mali, Paraguay and Turkey.

The Kiwis are set to play on the first day of the tournament itself at the D Y Patil Stadium against Turkey, who had made the grade in 2005 and 2009.

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