FIFA World Cup 2018: 10-year-old Indian boy creates history during Belgium-Panama game

As Belgium and Panama players were taking the field on Monday, a 10-year-old boy from Bengaluru, Rishi Tej, became the first ever official match ball carrier from India at FIFA World Cup 2018.
Rishi Tej (centre with the ball) became the first ever official match ball carrier from India at FIFA World Cup 2018, during the Group G match between Belgium and Panama earlier this week.(Twitter)
Rishi Tej (centre with the ball) became the first ever official match ball carrier from India at FIFA World Cup 2018, during the Group G match between Belgium and Panama earlier this week.(Twitter)
Updated on Jun 20, 2018 04:46 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By

A 10-year-old boy from Bengaluru on Tuesday created history by becoming the first ever Indian to be an official match ball carrier in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

Rishi Tej, who is from Bengaluru, became the first Indian to have lived a dream at the biggest stage in football, during the Group G match between Belgium and Panama.

Rishi was quoted as saying by India Today, “I am so excited, you cannot measure it even. It is like I am still dreaming. In Russia, I want to live every moment. During the match, I just don’t want to enjoy but analyse how they play.”

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World’s No 3 ranked Belgium team had no qualms in soaring to a 3-0 victory at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. After a disappointing, goalless first-half, Belgium bounced back to net three goals in the second to seal their first victory.

For Belgium, Dries Mertens (47th minute) and Romelu Lukaku’s twin strikes in 69th and 75th minute were enough to get their World Cup campaign on a winning start.

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Rishi is not the only Indian to feature in the World Cup as the Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC), as Nathania John K from Andhra Pradesh will be seen on the field during the Group E match between Brazil and Costa Rica on Friday.

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