FIFA World Cup 2018: Nathania John K from Tamil Nadu becomes first Indian girl to become Official Match Ball Carrier

An 11-year-old girl from Chennai on Friday had a memorable experience of walking out on to the football pitch with the Brazilian side ahead of the Selecaos clash against Costa Rica in a Group E match.

According to News18, Nathania John K was the first Indian girl to become the Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) at the showpiece event in Russia.

Nathania John K, right, poses with other contest winner Rishi Tej. PTI

Nathania John K, right, poses with other contest winner Rishi Tej. PTI

Nathania hails from the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu and she led Neymar’s Brazil on to the field at Arena St Petersburg. She is a footballer herself and a fan of Lionel Messi and Barcelona.

Nathania was ecstatic about the opportunity and was quoted by News18 as saying, “This has been an unforgettable week for me and my family. We did not expect that I will get the chance to go to the World Cup. Everything has happened very fast and this week has gone by like by a blur. I still can’t believe this is true."

Nathania, who is a student in Class VI at the Rishi Valley school told Times of India,"I am still in a daze. It is very unusual for an Indian to participate in the World Cup."

FIFA’s official partner KIA selected Nathania along with 10-year-old boy Rishi Tej from Karnataka, who was the OMBC in Belgium’s match against World Cup debutants Panama, from a contest which tested their football skills. Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri was the judge of the competition and he was impressed by both Nathania and Rishi.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 19:28 PM

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