Six Indian kids between the ages of 10-14 will participate in the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia set to begin on June 14. They will be part of Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) program for delivering the all-important match football to the pitch where soccer legends will play for the ultimate prize in the sport.
FIFA OMBC Program
Under the FIFA OMBC program, 64 schools kids from different countries, including two from India, will get this once in a lifetime opportunity to not only walk alongside some of the world’s best soccer players but to also watch a World Cup match. These young people will play a key role in each and every pre-match ceremony.
India’s First Ever Official Representation at FIFA
Andhra Pradesh’s Nathania John Kandathil and Karnataka’s Rishi Tej are the lucky two OMBCs who will be India’s first ever official representation at the FIFA World Cup. They have been chosen as part of the Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) program. Incidentally, Kia Motors India is the automotive partner of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Rishi Tej (10), a Class V student at Royale Concorde International School, Bangalore, Karnataka, will carry the ball during the Belgium vs Panama match on June 18. Nathania John K (11), who studies in Class VII at Rishi Valley School, Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, will walk along with the players with the official match ball in hand on June 22, before the explosive clash between Brazil and Costa Rica. Nathania John Kandathil, incidentally, is the only female from India selected for the final OMBC campaign. Rishi Tej and Nathania John K will be seen on television sets across the world.
Four other youngsters including two soccer enthusiasts from Noida have been selected to make the trip to Russia as spectators.
Priyasharan Prakash from Army Public School, Noida, Bhanuj Bhalla from Ryan International School, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Aditya Batra from Shri Ram School in Gurgaon, Haryana and Scott Ashley Rodrigues from Don Bosco High School, Mumbai are the four kids who will travel to Russia to experience the FIFA World Cup extravaganza.
All six kids will enjoy an exclusive Kia sponsored trip to the world’s premier sporting event, along with one of their parents or a guardian.
Kia OMBC Campaign
The Kia OMBC campaign was launched across India on social media and other digital platforms from April 10, targeting young football fans with aspirations of being the footballers of the future. In order to enter the first phase of this exclusive competition, the guardian of the entrant recorded and submitted a short film showing their passion, skill and interest for the game.
India captain Sunil Chhetri conducted the trials in Gurgaon last month and had a tough time zeroing in on the two kids who would be the country’s first OMBCs. As many as 1600 children participated in the program, with 50 shortlisted for the final selections. The on-site selection process was based on their football skills, agility, attitude and teamwork.
Six lucky kids got the golden chance to experience the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and walk alongside the legends.
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