STORY: Four young Indian footballers are set to fly to London to train with Queen Park Rangers (QPR) after winning an annual football talent hunt in western Mumbai City.
It is the first time in the history of the nine-year history of the South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenge scheme that two girls and as many boys will head to London for 10-day training stint with the English second tier club. Momin Ammar, Vivek Roy, Dia Mehta and Nirlaja Sharma were selected from thousands of competitors based on their skills and ability with the football.
The youngsters were felicitated by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Bollywood actor co-owner of Indian Super League (ISL) club, Mumbai City, Ranbir Kapoor, QPR chairman, Tony Fernandez and patron of the event, Milind Deora.
Around 6,500 girls and boys belonging to different backgrounds participated in the sporting event which begins in October every year. The event is held in collaboration with QPR.
India has taken a huge leap in terms of world soccer in recent years. The country hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October this year, showcasing the growing popularity of the sport.
The boom of the sport is also down to the Indian Super League, which was introduced in 2014. The five-month tournament, which consists of 10 teams, presently is held every year from November to March and sees a blend of Indian and former international players.