The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Bharti Airtel today announced the launch of Kick Off, an innovative talent identification and development programme designed to help find young footballing talent in the Goa region.
Kick Off has been designed using the expertise of Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) and it's hoped to lay the foundations for the Indian national team's future participation in major international football tournaments.
AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colcao welcomed United's involvement and said India has a "bold vision for the future of football".
"This exciting scheme will only help to accelerate our progress on the world stage," Colcao said. "We are delighted to welcome Manchester United Soccer Schools to India as their worldwide reputation for youth development precedes them. We wish the children taking part every success in what should be a memorable experience for them."
Starting on Saturday 27 October, up to 6000 aspiring footballers* in the Goa region will undertake a series of skill tests, overseen by MUSS and, specifically, Red legend Brian McClair. A small group of the most talented players will then be selected to attend intensive training between 31 October and 2 November.
Players chosen for the second phase of the program will receive a full