Football Delhi launched the first ever Youth League to mark Sunil Chhetri’s birthday, celebrated as Delhi Football Day since 2018.
The league was launched at the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Stadium on August 3. The youth league was officially launched by Kharga Chhetri, the father of India’s highest-ever goalscorer, in the presence of Sarabjit Singh Parma, the former India international, Football Delhi member clubs and participating teams. The league kicked off with an exhibition match of the U18 age category between Hops FC & Signature FC.
Lauding the launch of Youth League, Chhetri said: “Happy to learn that Football Delhi is launching Youth Leagues in three age categories on 3rd August, celebrating my birthday. It is a great honour for me that the Association is launching Youth Leagues on my birthday and providing much essential opportunities to youth players in Delhi. During my youth days in Delhi, we never had these kinds of platforms and I believe this initiative would greatly help local players in Delhi to showcase their talents and it will help them in shaping their football careers. I wish everyone associated with the youth league all the success and good luck.”
The inaugural edition of the league is expected to see more than 60 teams and 1200+ players compete in three age categories – U13/15/18, spread across multiple zones throughout Delhi to ensure maximum participation.
Football Delhi President, Shaji Prabhakaran, said: “Youth League was the missing element of football structure in Delhi and with the start of youth leagues we have added yet another platform for local players to enlarge the engagement with football and showcase their talents.
He further added, “Sunil Chhetri is an inspiration for all of us, especially for young players and we launching youth leagues celebrating Delhi Football Day honoring the legend Sunil Chhetri would greatly motivate players at all levels and it is an honour for us to launch this very essential league on Sunil’s birthday.”
The league will be played in a Home/Away format to ensure maximum game time and each team will play a minimum of 18 matches. The winning team in each category will have the honour to play in National Youth Leagues organized by AIFF.
The youth league matches will get underway on August 20.