The Delhi government in collaboration with the Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) and the support of HCL, will conduct the Delhi Future Stars football league from under-6 to under-19 age groups of boys and girls, from October 30.
With an aim to providing the competitive edge to the grassroots program, three separate leagues are scheduled to span four months, featuring about 400 teams and 6500 players in all.
“It is a wonderful initiative. Sports is popular in a lot of schools. Students want to play. It is good to provide chance to players from the under-6 age group to youth. Such efforts will help India figure in the World Cup one day. The government is committed to providing comprehensive support, infrastructure and resources to enable young talent rise in a vibrant football ecosystem”, said Himanshu Gupta, Director of Education, Government of Delhi.
“It is an incredible platform for football, and well designed. We are confident that it would be well executed. Football is the fifth sport that HCL has started to support”, said Shikhar Malhotra, Director of HCL Corporation.
The grassroots league will feature under-6, 8, 10, and 12 age groups. It will be hosted in 10 venues. About 1000 children are expected to play in about 1500 matches.
The school league will feature 55 teams of boys and girls from schools and academies. It will be played in the under-13, 15, 17 and 19 age categories. These matches will be played at the Chhatrasal Stadium and the Thyagaraj Stadium.
The Youth league, featuring 66 teams of boys and girls, will also be played in the under-13, 15, 17 and 19 age groups.
“We understand that at a young age, competition is important. With the under-6 age group, we will help the players take baby steps in the game. Overall, it is a mammoth league, and the biggest in the country. We expect other States to follow the model and make the country strong in the game, so that we have a team in World Cup football by 2038. Most of the matches will be shown live on the online platforms, so that parents can see their kids in action”, said the president of DSA, Anuj Gupta.
The DSA president also emphasised that the ultimate goal, in the long run, was to give every player about 50 matches a year.
For the young age groups, the football field will be divided into six parts, with each part hosting a match of 30 minutes.