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Global Interest in Indian Football Increases; Premier League & Indian Super League host Next Generation Mumbai Cup

Mumbai, Feb 17 (UNI) The Premier League and the Hero Indian Super League are
bringing the second edition of the Youth Games to Mumbai starting on February 24.
This year’s event, titled Next Generation Mumbai Cup, is supported by Star Sports
and will see three Premier League Under 14 sides – Chelsea FC, Manchester United
FC and Southampton FC - travel to India for the first time to play against three
Under 15 Indian Youth sides: Bengaluru FC, FC Goa and the Reliance Foundation
Young Champs academy. This competitive tournament will take place at Reliance
Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai over five days alongside a varied programme of activities.
The Premier League’s record goalscorer and ambassador Alan Shearer will join
Bollywood star and Premier League ambassador Ranveer Singh to meet and support
the young players during the event.
Nita Ambani, Chairperson Reliance Foundation and FSDL – organisers of ISL
alongside Premier League CEO Richard Masters will attend the final day event on
February 28.
The Next Generation Mumbai Cup takes place during a week of activities dedicated
to youth player development as part of the Premier League’s ongoing partnership with
the ISL. Representatives from the Premier League, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC
and Southampton FC will work with 75 ISL coaches, local coaches and referees from
across India to lead workshops, offer training and run development forums. The week
will provide cultural and educational experiences for the 108 young players involved.
This tournament and surrounding events are just some of the ways the two leagues
are working together as the Premier League and its clubs provide ongoing support to
ISL clubs.
The Premier League supports the development of football in India at all levels of the
game and has been working with the All India Football Federation for 11 years and the
ISL for six years to encourage participation at a grassroots level, support the development
of player pathways within academies and train coaches and referees. Through this
collaborative work, the Premier League has helped train 5040 coaches and referees and
engage 111,720 young people.
A new Mutual Cooperation Agreement between the ISL and Premier League will be
signed to reaffirm the commitment by both organisations to continue to grow the game
within schools and communities in India and to ensure continued professional
development of ISL coaches, referees and young players.
Speaking on the occasion, Nita Ambani said, “I am delighted to see the Premier
League’s continued and growing interest in our Indian Super League. Youth
development has been at the core of ISL and we are excited that 2020 will see our
first batch of Reliance Foundation Young Champs graduate into professional football.
The journey we had envisaged in 2014 has taken a giant stride today, towards
creating a viable football ecosystem in India."
"I am sure our talented children from BFC, FC Goa, and RFYC will benefit immensely
by playing with Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC and Southampton FC youth teams.
I welcome all the visiting players and coaches to experience our country’s rich culture
and warm hospitality, as we strengthen our bond through the ‘beautiful game," she said.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said, “We have an excellent
longstanding relationship with the ISL and this week of activity will undoubtedly provide
a fantastic opportunity for all young players and coaches involved. It is not just about
the on-pitch activities but also the wider cultural and educational experiences, which
are hugely beneficial to the players."
“Supporting youth development within ISL academies is an important part of the work
we do to strengthen the growth of the game in India. This week enables us to build on
our existing work with the ISL and provide workshops and knowledge exchange
programmes to coaches and referees from across India. We saw some very impressive
young talent at last year’s tournament and I hope this year’s players enjoy the experience
both on and off the pitch,” Richard added.
Alan Shearer, who scored 260 goals in the Premier League playing for clubs including
Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, will be meeting with players and coaches to
offer expertise and support.
Alan Shearer said,“I am looking forward to returning to Mumbai and meeting the youth
players and coaches participating in the tournament. I have seen first-hand the passion
for football in India, not just by fans watching the game but also those participating –
I was put through my paces by young players during my last trip to Mumbai. I wish all
those taking part in the tournament good luck and I look forward to seeing the teams in
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