Coca-Cola laying the roadmap to FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 with its grassroots football initiatives


The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the first football tournament at a worldwide level which will be held in India. And as the host nation, India will get the chance to compete in an international FIFA tournament after a long hiatus.

It goes without saying that this could be a landmark moment in Indian football. Can the ‘sleeping giant’ of the sport finally wake up from its deep slumber?

Coca-Cola, along with the AIFF, is attempting to bring about that awakening. They aim to strengthen the aspirant pool for the 2017 U-17 World Cup though their flagship tournament – the Coca-Cola Cup.

As we saw with the success of ISL, there is interest in sports other than cricket in this country; it just needs a little push. Fortunately, the top brands in the country are taking note of that, and using it to kick-start a sporting revolution in India.

The Coca-Cola Cup is a grassroots talent hunt initiated to uncover the most dynamic, passionate and talented young footballers in the country. With yearly participation numbers that frequently cross the 40,000, the tournament has received tremendous response from the Indian youth.

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The talent scouting that the Coca-Cola Cup enables would help India in putting out a competitive team for the 2017 U-17 World Cup. And a good performance in the World Cup will hopefully spur a whole new generation to take up football and help India move towards becoming a footballing nation .

The Coca-Cola Cup is a platform to  create a sporting culture in the country – a culture that places emphasis on maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. By concentrating on a sport like football, which requires athleticism and stamina of the highest levels, the tournament has brought about a fitness-first approach among theyoungsters. In the process, it has also led to a sea change in the way parents and the younsters look at the role that sports, particularly football, can play in overall personality development.

Moreover, sporting success depends as much on raw talent as it does on the right attitude. And that is why grassroots sports, with their focus on mental conditioning, are so important in a young and developing country like India. By promoting a lifestyle and mindset change among the youngsters, they can help the society become more athletically aware and physically competitive.

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The grassroots talent hunt by Coca-Cola will undoubtedly help talented players  take the next step. There is talent on these shores, but the lack of proper infrastructure and coaching in the past meant that the potential stars couldn’t quite keep up with their counterparts from Europe and other regions.

Come 2017, all that might change in a big way. The Coca-Cola Cup has laid the roadmap for success in the 2017 U-17 World Cup, and for the first time in forever, expectations from Indian football are high. Here’s hoping those expectations are fulfilled!


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