The India U-16 football team today dedicated its 2-1 win over Cameroon to the victims of the devastating Kerala floods.
Sitting miles away and competing with more acclaimed nations boasting of strong youth development programmes, the India U-16 team was not willing to soak in the euphoria.
“Our heart goes out to the people of Kerala. We have been praying for them at every moment and we salute the Indian Army and the rescue workers who are involved in the process,” head coach Bibiano Fernandes said.
“Cameroon are a sublime side and it was so satisfying to register a 2-1 victory against them. On behalf of the team, I would want to dedicate this victory over Cameroon to all the people of Kerala. This victory is more for you than anyone else,” he added.
Shabas Ahammed Moothedat, who played a pivotal role in yesterday's win against Cameroon, hails from the football-crazy Mallapuram district of Kerala. Shabas said his family had suffered a significant loss.
“My family has suffered a significant loss. However, I am fortunate enough that my family is together and safe. My heart goes out to everyone who has endured pain,” said Shabas.
Just a month away from the AFC U-16 Championship finals, the Indian U-16 national team are in the final stage of preparations for the Championship with wins over the likes of Cameroon adding more to their pedigree.