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Grassroot football tournament kicks off in Nagaland, uniting young players across the state
Representational image by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Grassroot football tournament kicks off in Nagaland, uniting young players across the state

| @indiablooms | 27 Jun 2023, 03:14 am

Kohima/IBNS: The Grassroot Football Tournament (GFT) for children, spanning three categories - Under-10, Under-13, and Under-15, commenced at the IG Stadium in Kohima, Nagaland on Wednesday.

Organized by the Kohima District Football Association (KDFA) under the patronage of the Nagaland Football Association (NFA), this tournament aims to nurture and showcase the talent of young players in the state, reported EastMojo.

The three-day event, coinciding with the nationwide 'Grassroots Day' initiated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has attracted a total of 30 teams from various regions.

The tournament features 15 teams competing in the Under-15 category, playing a seven-a-side format, while the Under-13 category witnesses the participation of 11 teams in a five-a-side format. Additionally, four teams, including a mix of genders, are vying for victory in the Under-10 category, also employing a five-a-side format.

The inaugural ceremony of the GFT was graced by Kethosituo Sekhose, the Director of Youth Resources & Sports, who praised the initiative and emphasized the importance of nurturing young talent to foster the growth of better athletes.

Sekhose further expressed his hope that these budding players would one day represent both the state and the country in football.

Highlighting the significance of developing players from the grassroots level to enhance the quality of the sport in Nagaland, the sports officer applauded the KDFA for taking the right steps towards achieving this goal.

The event is expected to be etched in the annals of Nagaland's sporting history, inspiring the young players to compete with true sportsmanship.

M. Matthew Yhome, President of KDFA, revealed that the AIFF had envisioned such a tournament with an eye on the Olympics. He further acknowledged the wholehearted support extended by the NFA to ensure the success of the event.

The U-10 category final witnessed Khelo India Center IGS Kohima emerge as the champions, defeating Children's Club via a tiebreaker.

Meanwhile, in the U-13 category, Sechü Zubza FC triumphed over Ignite Junior Phesama with a resounding 6-2 victory in the first semi-final, while Khelo India Centre, Greenwood School Dimapur, secured a convincing 6-0 win against New Market FC Academy in the second semi-final.

As the U-15 category matches are set to begin on the second day of the tournament, the highly anticipated final clash in the U-13 category between Sechü Zubza FC and KIC Greenwood School Dimapur is scheduled for June 23.

The GFT has garnered support from various sponsors, including the Kohima Hotel & Restaurant Union, Gem Paint Station Merhülietsa Kohima, Fish Dealers Kohima, Global Sports Kohima, and Sports Paradise Kohima, who have contributed cash prizes, trophies, and tournament balls to ensure the success of the event.

This Grassroot Football Tournament serves as a crucial platform for young talents in Nagaland to showcase their skills, fostering a bright future for football in the state.

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