Panaji: United Arab Emirates, Australia,Korea Republic and Uzbekistan have arrived in Goa for the AFC U-16 Championship, which commences on September 15 here.
There will be sixteen teams in total, including hosts India, to be vying for top honours during the competition that will take place at two different stadia – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Margao and GMC Stadium, Bambolim.
The rest of 11 foreign teams are scheduled to arrive here by September 13.
“16 teams are going to be lodged in four five star hotels in the South — each hotel hosting teams from four countries,” AFC media manager Abhay Bhow said.
Apart from the two main stadia, which are going to be used for the Championship, eight other grounds will be practice grounds.
Out of the eight venues, six are to be used and two have been kept as reserves.
FIFA tournament director Javier Ceppi who inspected all the six grounds — Tilak Maidan, Utorda, Navelim, Assolna, Ambelim and Benaulim — is happy about the conditions.
India, placed in Group A along with IR Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE, will play their inaugural match on September 15 against UAE at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda. While IR Iran will clash with Saudi Arabia the same day.
The finals is slated on October 2.
Indian coach Nicolai Adam is confident of his team performing well in the competition.
“The exposure tour to Germany and Norway went really well as it helped the entire team to reach a competitive level. It will be very difficult for any team playing in the AFC U-16 finals to beat us,” said Adam. PTI
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