Jamshedpur: A group of tribal students sat on dharna on Wednesday locking the main gate of the Tata Football Academy (TFA) here demanding fifty per cent reservation for local talents in the recruitment of cadets.
The students, under the banner of the `Adivasi Chatra Ekta (ACE)`, extended their two-day dharna which scheduled to end on Tuesday and locked the main entrance of the Academy demanding 50 per cent per cent quota for local talents irrespective of caste and creed in the TFA.
Chatra Ekta leader Jasai Mardi, who led the movement, told reporters that not a single player from Jharkhand had been selected in the Academy in the last four years.
Mardi said that they did not demand quota for Adivasis, but for football talents irrespective of their caste and creed from the state.
"We welcome TFA`s move to pick up best talents from across the country, but it should also accord preference to the local talents," Mardi said and dared TFA management to shift the Academy anywhere in the country, if Jharkhand really lacked football talent.
Mardi said since the state had produced sportsmen like cricket captain Mahendera Singh Dhoni, top ranked woman archer Deepika Kumari and a host of internationally famed hockey players (men and women), Jharkhand had plenty of potential for the growth of football which continued to remain neglected.
Mardi said that ACE would not disturb any cadets of TFA`s current batch.
Meanwhile, Mardi said, a representative of Tata Steel had visited the area before the main entrance of TFA and took along with him a five-member delegation of the ACE for negotiation on the issue.
Earlier, ACE had held a two-day dharna from August 4 in front of the TFA, but it has shifted its venue of dharna at the main entrance since last evening in support their demand.