Rivaldo, the Brazilian footballer to join the finals on 22nd October on his maiden visit to the capital city.…
The 57th of the Subroto Cup will be organized in Delhi from 14 September to 22 October, 2016. Asia’s pre-eminent grassroots football tournament will see participation from a 112 teams across three age groups, including 10 teams representing foreign countries as well as two overseas club teams.
The tournament will feature teams in the categories of sub-Junior Boys (Under-14), Junior Boys (Under-17) and Junior Girls (Under-17), making this its most unique and richly representative field ever.
The Subroto Cup is widely seen as a platform for budding footballers to launch their careers on the big stage and helps them gain instant recognition apart from the sizeable scholarships awarded to players who excel at the event. For instance, the Subroto Boys which featured selected scholars from last year’s tournament were sent to Sweden and participated in the Gotha Cup in Gothenburg, under the tutelage of coaches from Indian Super League outfit Delhi Dynamos.
“Our effort to send a team selected from last year’s tournament has provided the necessary international exposure to the boys. They have learned what it is like to compete overseas. We are looking for more such opportunities,” said Air Commodore PK Mohey VSM Air Office Commanding & Chairman Organizing Committee, Subroto Cup.
In keeping with its motto of talent scouting, this year the event has tied up with the Government of India’s #KheloFootball imitative in addition to having Dynamos as its ‘Football Development Partner. As part of this venture 22 football clinics have been organized in schools in different cities including in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and the National Capital Region. With India set to host the Under-17 FIFA World Cup next year national selectors will be in the stands watching the action, while the ISL club will look to recruit youngsters for its academy.
Of the foreign teams taking part in the tournament there will be three each from Afghanistan and Bangladesh, two from Sri Lanka and one each from Malaysia and Indonesia. The two new entrants are the Central Coast Mariners from Australia and the winners of the 2016 Gothia Cup, Las Vegas Football Academy from the US.
These teams will rub shoulders with sides from some of India’s most established clubs like Mohun Bagan, DSK Shivajians, Pune FC, Tata Football Academy and Shillong Lajong amongst others. There is a healthy mix of club and state teams that adds to the diverse playing field.
There will be particular focus on the Under-17 category that features 46 teams including those from overseas. This will also be the last chance for the Junior Colts to impress before selectors pick the team for next year’s World Cup.
The matches will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium and the NWC Race Course Ground, while Modern School, Barakhamba has been added as a standby venue due to the packed schedule of fixtures. However, all knockout games and finals in all categories will be held at Ambedkar Stadium and will be graced by famous sportspersons and celebrities from other walks of life.
This year’s edition also sees a substantial increase in the pize money on offer for the various teams. The winners and runners-up in each of the three categories will take home helfty cheques of 3,50,000 while and 2,00,000 respectively. There are are also rewards for making the last four and the quarterfinals with each team being richer by either 75,000 or 40,000. These figures see the tournament prize money rise to a whopping 32 lakhs. Apart from the annual scholarships there are also individuals awards, including for Best Player, Best Goalkeeper, Best Coach and the Fair Play Award.
The tournament kicks off with a Sub-Junior Boys game between Manipur and Assam which will be preceded by a glittering opening ceremony. The Under-14 Boys Final will be staged on 29 September, while the showpieces of the Under-17 Girls and Boys categories will be held on 10 and 22 October respectively.
As has been the practice, players will be called to test medically to verify the correct age of the participants by a panel of doctors with proper notification. All teams will be provided accommodation at hotels with transport to the venue and back. All matches will be supervised by qualified FIFA, national and Class-I referees drafted in from the Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Brazilian legend Rivaldo will be the star attraction at the closing ceremony next month. With this the forward joins the star cast of compatriots Pele and Roberto Carlos who graced last year’s event.
Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. A sports buff, he’s also a foreign policy enthusiast and keen North Korea watcher. Mrunal loves gaming, reading, traveling and is a self-confessed Football Manager addict. You can follow him on Twitter.