It would be history in the making when India's Under 17 football team take to the field against US in their opening group game of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium on October 6.
It will be the first time ever that an Indian football will participate in the finals of a FIFA-organised world tournament, let alone the Under-17 World Cup. India has qualified for the event on account of securing a berth as hosts of the tournament.
So let us have a look at India's record at major Under 17 football competitions
India at AFC Under 16 Championships
The AFC Championships which started off in 1985 witnessed India's maiden appearance in 1990. The Colts have been seven-time entrants into the AFC U-16 Championship, which is held the year previous to the U-17 world event.
India's best performance came in the 2002 edition in the United Arab Emirates where the team progressed to the quarter-finals of the tourney. The team lost out to eventual champions, Republic of Korea in the last four of the tournament. Barring that last eight apperance, India has failed to progress beyong the group stage on the other six occasions.
India at SAFF U-16 Championships
India has been a regional soccer powerhouse in the South Asian region. India U-16s elusive piece of silverware in the international arena came when the colts won the 2013 edition of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-16 Championship in Nepal.
In the final, India defeated Nepal 1–0 to win the tournament.It is notable that the Blues ended as runners-up in both 2011 and 2015 editions of the South Asian zonal youth competition.