NEW DELHI: Celebrating India’s 75th year of independence, the Delhi government on Monday kickstarted the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Football Tournament. The tournament was inaugurated by Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia at the Thyagaraj Stadium.
Featuring 20 top football clubs of New Delhi, the tournament will see teams in the Under 18 and Under 22 age categories.
“This is for the first time in Delhi that major football clubs in the city have got together because of this effort,” Sisodia said while addressing the gathering.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government aims to imitate the sports cultures of other nations in Delhi’s schools and institutions. It strives to plan sporting events in accordance with worldwide league standards in order to provide aspiring athletes with the necessary exposure, Sisodia said.
The event is held as part of India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. It is organised by Delhi Government in association with Sudeva Delhi Football Club, the first club from Delhi to feature in I-League. Over the period of next two months, a collective of 98 total matches will be played
Speaking to The New Indian, Anuj Gupta, president of Sudeva Delhi FC, who is the Technical Partner of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Tournament, said, “The idea behind this one-of-a-kind tournament is to give at least 40-50 matches to the right talent in Delhi. This tournament is organized by Delhi Government in association with Sudeva Delhi Football Club.”
Meanwhile, Sisodia said that the Delhi government hopes to make Delhi a sporting powerhouse. The government has improved the amenities at numerous stadiums in Delhi, including Chhatrasal Stadium, Thyagraj Stadium, East Vinod Nagar Sports Complex, Poothkalan Sports Complex, Rajiv Gandhi Stadium Bawana, and others, Sisodia said.
In addition, three artificial football fields of international calibre have been built in Kair, Mundela and Anandvas to foster a love of the game among athletes around Delhi.
“Over the years world-class sports infrastructure has been developed in the capital and the government aims to add more to it in the coming times,” Sisodia said
Meanwhile, in the inaugural match Sudeva Delhi FC and Delhi FC shared the spoils with a 1-1 tie.