Two Indian Students to Witness FIFA in Russia as Official Match Ball Carriers

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The automobile company Kia had sponsored an audition across India to select two upcoming football talents to represent India at the FIFA World Cup as Official Match Ball Carriers. The final selection was made by Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – Ten-year-old Rishi Tej of the southern state of Karnataka and eleven-year-old Nathania John K. of another southern state, Tamil Nadu, have been selected as Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) for two of the FIFA World Cup games to be held in Russia. One of them will carry the match ball during Belgium vs Panama game, while the other will get a chance to get onto the pitch before Brazil vs Costa Rica match, the news agency PTI reported.

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Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri, who conducted the trials in Gurgaon last month, said he had a tough time zeroing in on the two kids that would become the country's first OMBCs for the FIFA. A total of 1,600 children participated in the initial audition, with 50 shortlisted for the final selections.

"It was amazing to see so many talented young kids together. I thank Kia for giving this opportunity to the football-loving kids of our country. It augurs well for the future of the sport," Chhetri said while announcing the winners. 

READ MORE: At Current Growth of Popularity, Indian Football May Enter FIFA Soon — Minister

Students from a total of 64 schools from different countries, including two from India, have been selected for the honor to walk alongside the world's greatest football stars at the beginning of the match. These kids will also have the opportunity to watch the matches.

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