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Namit Deshpande becomes first NRI to start for India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Central defender Namit Deshpande, from Maryland, USA, today created history of sorts by becoming the first Non Resident Indian (NRI) to represent across any age group.

Deshpande achieved the feat when he was included in the Indian starting line for the FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Colombia at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Deshpande became a part of the Bethseda Soccer Club in Maryland, where he got the first taste of the US Soccer Development Academy.

His parents left when Deshpande was just eight years old.

This was possible due to the All Football Federation's (AIFF) scouting programme.

He sent his video clippings to AIFF and impressed with his skills, he was call for trials. He passed the test and was included in former coach Nicolai Adam's probables list.

Deshpande also impressed current coach Luis Norton de Matos, who had no hesitation in including him in his scheme of things for the world event.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 09 2017. 20:42 IST