In a bid to promote youth football, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society (SMSES).
As per AIFF, the federation as well as SMSES will benefit from this MoU which will witness the prestigious Subroto Cup, an inter-school football tournament, being raised to newer heights.
“Collaborating with the Subroto Cup is another decision to further strengthen our youth football structure and that way, our schools will be much more integrated into the competitive football structure in India. This collaboration between the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society and the AIFF will bring a lot of positive changes in the organisation and overall impact of the Subroto Cup, which will make a big change in the youth football ecosystem in the larger scheme of things” said AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran.
“It will encourage more schoolgirls to be a part of football and also help us scout new talents from the Subroto Cup, which would further motivate more schoolchildren to be a part of the game. Overall, this historic day for Indian Football and for Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society is going to be a significant moment,” he added.
Air Vice-Marshal Alok Sharma said: “We have got the talent and psychological map of the best students. We have got the vision of 2047 from the Prime Minister, and the AIFF’s vision, which is also for the same year. So when I heard about this vision, there was no doubt that we had to be a part of it, and there was no doubt that we would be able to contribute to it.”
“Not that long ago, were we discussing how to get this done? It has now materialised in a short duration, and I am thankful to the AIFF for it. Let’s produce the results, as that will be the icing on the cake. The process is good, and now it’s time for us to get the results. The major takeaway for us will be that the students will now have the aspiration of playing for India one day. They will be playing with the best, getting advice from good coaches, performing at a level where someone is looking at their future,” he added.
This MoU will see the SMSES field a Subroto XI team in the AIFF’s youth competitions, which will be formed by scouting the best players across the various age categories of the Subroto Cup. The Selection Committee of the aforementioned Subroto XI will comprise one member deputed by the SMSES, and one nominated member from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), along with two scouts nominated by the AIFF, to form a four-member committee.
The Selection Committee shall be responsible for identifying the top players and thereafter call up to the Subroto XI team of their respective categories. The AIFF, for its part, will allow the Subroto XI direct entry into the AIFF Youth Leagues for both boys and girls across various age categories from the 2023-24 season onwards.
Twenty-five players will be identified by the Selection Committee from each of the U-17 Boys and Girls categories for a one-time cash scholarship of Rs 25,000/- for every player. The same award for the Sub-Junior (U-14) category will be Rs 15,000/- each.
The players scouted from the Subroto Cup across various age categories will also be assessed using an IT-assisted Talent Development Scheme, and then be invited to attend National Team training camps of their respective age categories. The AIFF will also notify the ISL, I-League, and IWL clubs to depute their scouts once the match schedule for the Subroto Cup is provided.
“The MoU will also see various marketing collaborations between the AIFF and the SMSES for the Subroto Cup, with the tournament being produced and broadcast in a never-before-seen manner,” the federation said in a media release.
The AIFF will also assist the SMSES in age detection of the players in the Subroto Cup via the TW3 method from the 2023-24 season onwards. Dedicated coach education programmes will also be undertaken for coaches of the teams in the Final Rounds.
Following the completion of the tournament, the AIFF will also identify the D License coaches from the Final Round teams and devise a suitable plan to upskill the said coaches to the AIFF C License.