Subroto Cup to have European flavour in 2012 edition

New Delhi: The 2012 edition of the prestigious Subroto Cup Inter-School Football tournament will boast of two European teams as the Indian Air Force hopes to turn a new leaf in the country’s oldest school tournament with added corporate support and new ideas.

The tournament will kick off in the national capital on September 3 and 78 teams in various disciplines will be playing 125 matches in a span of two months.

FC Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine and Cardinal Heenan College from United Kingdom will be vying for honours with their Indian counterparts in the under-17 category.

Subroto Cup, which began in 1960, is one of the oldest tournament in the country and boasts of participation from over 20,000 schools across the country.

Addressing the media at the launch of the 2012 edition, Air Marshal J N Burma said, “So far teams from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other South Asian countries have taken part in the Subroto Cup. These teams received tremendous support from football lovers and we felt that it was the right time to bring in teams from Europe.”

And this is not all. The Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society (SMSES) is keen to contribute handsomely to development of the sport in the country and there could be no better platform than inter-school meet.

With this aim in mind, the inter-school girls tournament has been expanded nationally and for the first time, 17 schools representing all regions of the country would be vying for the title.

“We plan to introduce U-14 girls tournament in the future so that we can identify forty talented girls who will be called ‘Subroto Girls” and are modeled like the “Subroto Boys.” These girls will be groomed and their skills honed by the SMSES,” added Air Marshal J N Burma.

One team from Afghanistan will also be seen in action in the girl’s category.

At a time when AIFF and Rob Barn (AIFF Technical Director) are talking about the ways of improving Indian Football and are carving the way forward: development of grass root football is the primary and sole way to materialize that goal.

“The support of Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and Delhi Government has always been with us. The addition of corporate support is all the more important at the grass root level so that we can also concentrate not only on the talent but diet and nutrition for the youngsters” urged Air Marshal J N Burma.