PATNA: A Mission XI Million festival was held in Jagjeevan Stadium in Patna earlier today. A steady downfall of rain on Tuesday morning didn’t keep close to 400 students from coming to play the beautiful game of football.

Project Director of the Local Organising Committee for FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 Joy Bhattacharjya said: “It’s amazing to see the response of children and their teachers. Even in the heavy rain, they came in numbers. It shows the passion and love for the game”.

Despite life being almost paralysed in Arunachal Pradesh due to the landslides caused by heavy rains, a Mission XI Million festival was held in Itanagar on July 5, just two days before the Official Draw of FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 took place in Mumbai. More than 325 children turned up to play football in Itanagar’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

“The festivals are coming thick and fast. In the last few months, it has truly become a national phenomenon with places like Patna and Itanagar hosting the festivals,” Bhattacharjya added.

The legacy programme of FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, Mission XI Million has reached out to more than 5 million children so far, and aims at getting 11 million children in contact with football before India’s first FIFA tournament begins in October.

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