The 20-year-old, Alan Solaman K.J. who belongs to the coastal village of Chellanam, has been selected as one of the eight players to represent the country in the 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup. He idolizes Lionel Messi who emerged as a hero among his peers after getting selected for this four-a-side tournament, which will be at the iconic Bute Park in the Welsh capital of Cardiff on July 27. The youngster has taken a passport and is waiting for the mandatory police verification. Alan had earlier played for the district Under-17 and Under-19 teams in the past.
The Nagpur-based NGO Slum Soccer which organized the National Inclusion Cup (NIC), at Mumbai in February changed his fate. A Bengaluru-based NGO which is the Fourth Wave Foundation that ensured the State’s representation in the competition as part of its Venda project that aimed at keeping vulnerable youth from high-risk areas in Kochi away from drugs through football.
Homkant Surandase, head coach, Slum Soccer said that they selected eight players plus another four as standby based on skill, fitness, physical endurance and tactical awareness. His success story is having a cascading effect among the youth in his neighbourhoods in Kochi.
(Image Courtesy: The Hindu)