New Delhi, Mar 1: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) have appointed Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos as the new head coach of the India U-17 football team.
AIFF had parted ways with previous manager Nicolai Adams last month on mutual consent and have decided to replace him with a more experienced De Matos ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
AIFF confirmed the news on their official website the-aiff.com as well as on their official Twitter handle.
The official statement read: "All India Football Federation today (March 1, 2017) appointed Portugal's Luis Norton de Matos as the Head Coach of the India U-17 World Cup Team for the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Matos who met the AIFF Advisory Committee including representatives from Sports Authority of India, and had a chat with Mr. Injeti Srinivas, the Director General, SAI on Monday evening, flew to Mumbai to meet with All India Football Federation President Mr. Praful Patel in Mumbai on Tuesday."
Their official tweet read:
Speaking about Norton's appointment, AIFF president Praful Patel said: "It's nice to have Mr. Matos on board.
"His experience of handling youth Teams will come in handy for the U-17 boys as we wish to leave no stone unturned to field a competitive team in the U-17 World Cup. I expect him to guide our boys to put up a strong performance in the World Cup."
de Matos on joining the Indian side said: "My role will be to orchestrate everything wherein the players will be playing their part.
"I admire AIFF's vision and the U-17 World Cup will act as a base for development of Football in India. The players need to believe in themselves to do something special for the Country," he stated.
"I do have an Indian connection as my great grandfather was born in Goa," he informed. "I will retain the positives of the last two years as we move forward," he maintained.
Host country India will take part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup which is scheduled to happen in October this year.