Pune: Karnataka’s Rishi Tej (age 10) and Tamil Nadu’s Nathania John K (age 11) emerged as the lucky winners of the Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) programme, bagging the honour to represent India at the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia.
They will be delivering the all-important match football to the pitch where soccer legends will play for the ultimate prize in the sport.
Kia Motors India also announced that four other youngsters from different parts of the country have been selected to make the trip to Russia as spectators.
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.
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 programme, with 50 shortlisted for the final selections.
“It was amazing to see so many talented young kids together,” Chettri said. “I thank Kia for giving this opportunity to the football-loving kids of our country. It augurs well for the future of the sport,”
Rishi Tej and Nathania John K will be seen on television sets across the world as one of them steps on to the field on June 18, ahead of the Belgium vs Panama encounter; the other chosen kid will walk along with the players with the official match ball in their hand on June 22, before the explosive clash between Brazil and Costa Rica.