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Sports
22 May 2017

AIFF falsely claims that India U-17 team defeated Italian U-17

Did AIFF mislead the Indian football fans?

On 19 May, 2017 the All India Football Federation (AIFF) reported that India's U-17 football team had defeated four time World Cup Champions Italy U-17 team 2-0.

However, it has come to light that the Indian boys had defeated an U-17 youth football team of Italy, a side comprising of youth players from clubs competing in Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2.

In context

Did AIFF mislead the Indian football fans?

How did the truth come to light?

The websites of the Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2 clubs Parma and AlbinoLeffe reported that India had played against the representative team of the league and not the national U-17 team of Italy.

Who did the Indian team play against?

Details

Who did the Indian team play against?

India U17 men's football team faced the representatives of the third and fourth tier clubs of the Italian football.

The players comprised from various clubs, while the team did not have even a single player from Italy's national U-17 team. Daniele Arrigoni was the coach of the team.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) had no information about the match on their official website.

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Italian media surprised after seeing reports from India

Emanuele Giulianelli, an Italian journalist, who covered the match was surprised after seeing the reports in the Indian media. He said, "There is nothing about this match in the Italian media. This team that played India U-17 is the Lega Pro national representative."

Defending themselves?

AIFF says no intention to mislead Indians

After reports of false news came out, an official from the federation said, "All along, it is the Italian football federation who communicated with us."

The official went on to blame the Italian football federation saying, "If Italy chose to field a team which is supposedly not their main team, how are we to blame? There is no doubt that the team represented Italy."

Why is the Indian team in Europe?

Ahead of the U-17 FIFA World Cup to be held later this year, the Indian U-17 team in on a trip to play against European countries. However, India's performance has been below par, with no wins in seven matches against various clubs in Portugal.

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