An India-Egypt Friendship Cup football match series for Under-16 teams will be held in Egypt on April 22 and 23 as part of 'India at 70' and 'India by the Nile' (IBN) cultural festival. India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said during a press conference today that the football series is in fulfillment of the objective of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently launched campaign "Mission 11 Million" (MXIM). "The mission is to promote football as a sport and healthy life choice among children of India. It is now unfolding across India in schools and colleges to start playing football when they are still very young," the ambassador said. India's Under-16 football team, which will visit Egypt from April 20 to 25, will play two matches against Egypt's Under-16 national team. Members of this team are Youth Ambassadors of India. "The team will play two friendly matches with their counterpart from Al-Ahly club in Cairo and Smouha club in Alexandria on 22 and 23 April," the ambassador said. The visit is the first ever by an Indian football team to Egypt to play matches with their Egyptian counterparts. The ambassador added that this will deepen the friendship between India and Egypt, strengthen people-to-people contacts, promote youth exchange and build new bonds between the players on both sides. The football series is being organised by The embassy of India in Egypt, in collaboration with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, All India Football Federation, Al-Ahly Club, Smouha Club and Embee Group. "We believe that our young footballers will return to India with positive experiences of high-level football, training techniques and new friendships.
Further, this could open the avenue for closer cooperation in football and other sports between the two countries," the ambassador said.