The diamond jubilee edition of the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament, Asias largest youth football meet, will kick off on August 20 at the Ambedkar Stadium here.
The inaugural match will be played in the U-14 boys' category between Reliance Foundation School (RFS) and Jharkhand.
The tournament this year will see a record 112 teams, including 16 international sides, vying for top honours in the sub-junior boys (U-14) and junior (U-17) boys and girls categories.
The U-14 boys' final will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium on August 29. The U-17 girls' and boys' competitions will start on August 30 and September 7, respectively, with the finals scheduled for September 6 and September 18, respectively.
The defending champions in all the categories from each state and Union Territory, along with the institutional and international teams, will fight it out at the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament for the winners' prize.
The U-14 boys' category has 36 teams, the U-17 girls' section has 31 teams while the U-17 boys' category has the maximum participating teams, 45.
Last year's winners in the U-14 category, Manipur, will start their campaign on August 21 against West Bengal. In the girls' U-17 section, last year's winners Bangladesh Krira Shiksha Prothisthan (BKSP) will play their opening match on August 30.
In the U-17 boys' category, BKSP emerged as the champions last season defeating Amini School from Afghanistan, both of whom will start their proceedings on September 7.
Apart from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, other countries participating in this season include Nigeria, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, having representations across categories.
The tournament is organised by the Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society under the aegis of Air Force Sports Control Board and is supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Sports Authority of India.
Ambedkar Stadium will play host to the knock-out games, including the semifinals and finals, while the round robin games will be played at other grounds across Delhi and NCR.
The tournament has enhanced its prize money in all three categories by Rs 50,000 this year. The winners in the sub-junior boys' section will walk away with an attractive cash prize of Rs 3,00,000, while Rs 4,00,000 each will be awarded to the winners in the junior boys' and girls' sections.
The runners-up in the sub-junior boys' category will receive Rs 1,75,000 while those in the junior boys' and girls' sections would earn Rs 2,50,000 each.
The best player and best goalkeeper awards have also been increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.
( 442 Words)