The AIFF has defended the reporting of the Indian U-17 football team's 2-0 win over the Italy U-17 team in a fixture on Friday. An AIFF official said that the team were representing the European nation as opposed to being a collection of representatives from the lower ranks of the Italian league.
An AIFF official was quoted by the TOI as saying, “All along, it is the Italian football federation who approved the team which was fielded on Friday. The team played with the Italian national team jerseys and there is nothing on record to suggest that this was not the national team. If Italy chose to field a team which is supposedly not its main team, how are we to blame? There is no doubt that the team represented Italy.”
Earlier, after India beat Italy 2-0 in the U-17 fixture, it was revealed that the team India faced were not the national side but a team made up of third and fourth division Italian players, called Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2 respectively. This revelation was made by the official websites of Lega Pro, and Lega Pro clubs - Parma and Albinoleffe confirmed the same.
This fact becomes even more evident given that the Italian national team last played a match on May 9 against Turkey in the U17 European Championship. More importantly, Italy
Further, the two Italian sides in question are strikingly different. Here is the team India faced:
Federico Brancolini – Modena, Edoardo Corvi – Parma, Francesco Micheli – Albinoleffe, Simone Della Morte – Lucchese, Davide Missaglia – Cremonese, Marco Ruggero – Padova, Antonio Vitale – Modena, Nicolo Maffini – Carrarese, Alessio Gianneschi - Robur Siena, Antonio Marrone - Juve Stabia, Matteo Bertollo - Bassano Virtus, Michael Fibiano - Juve Stabia, Alberto Maroni – Mantova, Alessandro Ramello – Alessandria, Alessandro Galeandro – Albinoleffe, Davide Rosso – Padova, Davide Rodolfi – Albinoleffe, Alessandro Davitti – Modena.
While the official Italian U-17 squad is as follows:
Simone Ghidotti – Fiorentina, Marco Carnesecchi – Cesena, Raoul Bellanova – AC Milan, Antonio Candela – Spezia, Matteo Anzolin – Vicenza, Davide Bettella - Inter Milan, Alex Campeol - AC Milan, Gabriele Bellodi – AC Milan, Andrea Rizzo Pinna – Atalanta, Elia Visconti – Inter Milan, Fabrizio Caligara – Juventus, Roberto Biancu – Cagliari, Hans Nicolussi Caviglia – Juventus, Emanuel Vignato – Chievo, Manolo Portanova – Lazio, Moise Kean – Juventus, Davide Merola – Inter Milan, Pietro Pellegri – Genoa.