Last week, news broke out that the India U-17 team beat the Italy U-17 team. It was a matter of huge pride, as celebrities and fans alike took to Twitter to congratulate the team. But guess what, India DID NOT beat the Italy U-17 team! Now, the AIFF clarifies their goof up over India’s U-17 win.
The team that India faced yesterday was not the Italy U-17 team. It was in fact the Italy Lega Pro U-17 representatives who lost to the Indian team.
ALSO READ : Here is why India U-17 did not beat Italy U-17
The Pro U-17 representatives comprised of players from the Lega Pro 2 and Lega Pro 3, the third and fourth tiers of Italian football.
Notably, there was no mention of the match on the official handle of the Italy national team. But the All Indian Football Federation took the other route, as they openly praised the Indian team on this ‘historic moment’.
Clearly, the Italian media was shocked and surprised at the way in which India and the AIFF contorted facts and glorified this result.
“We have never strayed anyone. We made every possible effort to make this match happen, we even changed our travelling plans. To play an international friendly match, both of the nations have to fill two types of form, for senior team – tier one and for any other age group, we have to fill the form of type – tier two. As Italy has submitted the tier two form we were known that we are going to play with under 17 Italian team.”
“We knew that recently Italian U17 team has participated in EURO, their approach towards us for a friendly made us feel that they will place the best of their team in front of us. They sought official permission from Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and Asia Football Confederation (AFC) and told us that it is going to be the official International friendly among us.” AIFF claimed that the Italian U17 players were wearing their official jersey.
“Indian under 17 team is now practising for the Lazio cup and they won’t lose their focus by such media hype. After all, it doesn’t matter if Italy tried to betray us as we have already won the match and don’t need to overthink it” said AIFF”.
Clearly, the AIFF did not intentionally make this mistake. But they will surely be careful of repeating something like this in the future.