Indian football: Republic day scouting in Dubai for India's junior teams

Maja Hitij - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have teamed up to scout for young Indian talent...

Following a resounding response for the scouting programme in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2016, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will hold another scouting run for Indian boys born between 2001 and 2003 in Dubai in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

The Indian federation is looking to strengthen the country's junior national team setups, including the India U16 due to participate in the AFC U16 Championship in 2018.

The opening round of the scouting will be open for all those who meet the set criteria on January 26, 2018. Thereon, the shortlisted players may be asked to attend further rounds of trials over the next couple of days. The selected bunch will be invited to join the India junior team camps including the U16 camp currently underway in UAE to prepare for the AFC U16 Championship in 2018.

Former India international Abhishek Yadav, who has recently been appointed as the National Team Director by the AIFF, will lead the SAI-AIFF scouting team with the U16 technical staff also watching the trials.

"The last time we invited five players to join the camp apart from a few others who showed a spark for the future. Beyond the talent itself, the attitude of several parents was something that gave me confidence that an Indian player residing in the UAE could break into an Indian squad," said Yadav.

SAI DG Injet Srinivas with Kushal Das, Abhishek Yadav

According to AIFF general secretary. Kushal Das, the Dubai trials in 2016 attracted 240 Indian players at various age levels and the body wants to bank on the football frenzy created by the U17 World Cup hosted in India in 2017. Das expects the upcoming scouting round to hold more significant as it will be kicked off on India's Republic day. He also thanked the SAI, the Consul General of India (Dubai) and the local venue partners for their support.

"We have two interesting projects going on in Indian football – Indian Arrows with U-19’s playing in the I-League and the U-16 National team which has taken off on a foreign-exposure campaign ahead of the AFC Championship in September 2018 for which India qualified on merit. Also, with the 2001 – 2003 boys age-group, we are essentially preparing for FIFA U-20 World Cup 2021 and Olympic Games 2024," Das commented.


Talented players who hold Indian passports while residing in Gulf countries and aspire to play for India are qualified to attend the trials if they fall in the required age-bracket. Interested players should report for trials as per their category on 26 January. No new registrations will be accepted on the other days.

Criteria & information:

Age-group: Boys born in the years 2001, 2002, 2003

Dates, timing & venue:

DAY 1: 26 January 2018: Kings’ School, Al Barsha

Morning session: 0800 – 1100 HRS (reporting time: 0730 HRS onwards)
Afternoon session: 1600 – 1900 HRS

DAY 2 & DAY 3: 27 January & 28 January: time & venue details will be informed to shortlisted players on 26 January

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Players should carry the following items:

  • clear photocopy copy of own Indian passport (first page & last page)
  • own playing kit
  • drinking water, snacks, etc.

*PLEASE NOTE: SAI-AIFF does not charge any money for attending the trials. The trials are free of cost to all players
*Parents/guardians/supporters/friends of players will be requested to stay away from the trials

Registration form can be downloaded from