~Coca-Cola India and All India Football Federation (AIFF) come together for a strategic alliance towards building a competitive team for the 2017 Under-17 Football World Cup~

Present to mark the event were Mr. Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Marketing and Commercial, Coca-Cola India; Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation; along with legendary Brazilian footballer, Carlos Alberto Torres
Coca-Cola will complement AIFF’s role to strengthen the aspirant pool for the 2017 U-17 World Cup though their flagship tournament – the Coca-Cola Cup
The Coca-Cola Cup is a grassroots talent hunt initiated to uncover the most dynamic young footballers in the country and identify potential talent pool of players
Five young footballers from across the country handpicked for a Coaching and Conditioning Camp in Brazil

Kolkata, 23rd December 2013: Coca-Cola India and All India Football Federation (AIFF) came together today to announce a strategic alliance laying the roadmap to build a competitive Indian side for the 2017 Under-17 Football World Cup. This announcement coincided with the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola’s stopover in Kolkata. Coca-Cola India will complement AIFF’s efforts to seek out the best Under-17 talent for 2017 through their flagship tournament for Under-15 footballers – the Coca-Cola Cup. Players selected from the Coca-Cola Cup and other academy tournaments will be provided with exposure and other opportunities to strengthen and train the aspirant pool for 2017.

Five young footballers have already been chosen as part of this aspirant pool for a Coaching and Conditioning Camp in Brazil. This is one of the many opportunities being provided by Coca-Cola in association with AIFF towards fielding a strong Under-17 team for the 2017 World Cup.

Present to grace the occasion were Mr. Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Marketing and Commercial, Coca-Cola India, Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary and legendary Brazilian footballer and the official ambassador of FIFA World Cup™ 2014, Carlos Alberto Torres.

Speaking at the event, Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Marketing and Commercial, Coca-Cola India said, “With the 2017 Under-17 World Cup set to be held in India, I strongly believe that Indian football has found its day in the sun. It is time for us to really focus on our young pool of players and put forth the best team to compete in the 2017 World Cup. Over the next few years, Coca-Cola India will work with AIFF to strengthen the aspirant pool for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup by identifying potential players and providing them with international exposure, world class training and guidance. We hope to reach out to a larger pool of aspiring footballers to help widen our search for the very best Under-17 football talent our country has to offer. From 2014, the Coca-Cola Cup is set to be one of the primary routes to the Under-17 World Cup Team for 2017. We are confident of putting together a strong team, at par with global standards, through this partnership.”

Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation said, “We are really excited about this alliance which will go a long way in increasing the reach and impact of our search for the best talent for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup. The players selected through the Coca-Cola Cup will form an important core of the aspirant pool for the 2017 U-17 World Cup team. We are working together to provide these selected players with the best platforms to train and grow in the sport and thank Coca-Cola for their partnership and support.”

Speaking at the event, legendary footballer Carlos Alberto Torres said, “It is great to see the love and excitement here for the game. Taking this talent to the next level and competing at the International level requires support and training at the grassroot level. I am really happy to see an alliance between Coca-Cola & the All India Football Federation (AIFF) with such dedicated focus on 2017. This sort of support is very important to help players evolve in the sport and compete on the global arena. It feels great to see a global company like Coca-Cola, promote the culture of football and support grassroots football like it always has in many countries. I wish all the players the best of luck! And I look forward to seeing the progress of this roadmap as it builds a great team for 2017!”

The Coca-Cola Cup is a grassroots level football tournament organized by AIFF in association with Coca-Cola. The tournament is open to all young footballers in the age group of 12-15 years. Over 40,000 players from more than 2,500 schools across 75 cities participated in the last season of The Coca-Cola Cup, bringing forth a huge pool of gifted footballers.

More About The Coca-Cola Cup

The Coca-Cola Cup is an annual grassroot level football tournament which was started by AIFF in 1977 for boys under the age of 15. The Coca-Cola Cup aims to act as an aggregator and help showcase young football talent and subsequently act as a ‘Talent Pool Provider’ for The Under-17 World Cup. Coca-Cola entered into partnership with AIFF in 2009, to become official partners of the tournament.

The tournament is played in the following formats:

Stage I (District Level): At the district level, inter-school matches are held covering 80 cities/ districts and the stand-out players are chosen for the state level matches.

Stage II (State Level): At the state level, the tournament is played at two legs – Tier 1 and Tier 2. Based on the previous year’s performances, the top 16 teams play at Tier 1. The winner is crowned as ‘The Coca-Cola Cup Champion’. The bottom 16 teams play at Tier 2. From here, the top 2 teams qualify to play for Tier 1 for the next year.

Stage III: To feed talent into the National Under-16 Sub-Junior Team and create a talent pool for the upcoming U-17 World Cup.

About All India Football Federation (AIFF)

The All India Football Federation was formed in 1937 and was affiliated to FIFA in 1948. AIFF is one of the founder members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

AIFF is the official football aegis of India that manages, governs, controls and regulates the sport in the country. AIFF manages the competitions such as I-League, Federation Cup, Santosh Trophy and the age-group competition for boys, girls, men and women. On the other hand the federation focuses on the development side of the sport i.e. grassroots, coaching and other technical areas associated with football in India.

About Coca-Cola India

Coca-Cola in India refreshes millions of consumers throughout the country with an exciting range of beverages including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Maaza, Maaza Milky Delite, Minute Maid Pulpy Orange, Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh, Minute Maid Mixed Fruit, Minute Maid 100 % juice (Minute Maid Apple, Minute Maid Orange, Minute Maid Grape), Georgia, Georgia Gold, Kinley, Kinley Club Soda, Burn and Nestea through a network of more than one and a half million outlets. The Coca-Cola India system has invested more than US$ 2 billion in its Indian operations and provides direct employment to more than 25,000 people. For more information and details on the company’s Indian operations please visit: www.coca-colaindia.com and www.myenjoyzone.com

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