Srinagar, Nov 18: The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) has unveiled a thrilling new chapter for football enthusiasts in Kashmir.
A statement said that as one of India’s premier grassroots football competitions, RFYS is set to conduct tournaments across three age categories – U-15, U-21 for boys, and U-19 for girls, marking the beginning of an exciting journey in a region known for its fervour and deep affection for the sport.
Partnering with the Department of Higher Education (UT of Jammu & Kashmir) and the University of Kashmir, RFYS has initiated the Annual Inter College Boys tournament.
This tournament, ongoing from November 13-30, at the football ground of the university in Srinagar, features 29 teams competing in 28 matches. Additionally, RFYS U-15 Boys and U-19 Girls competitions will showcase the talents of 32 and 16 teams, respectively, from four districts of the Union Territory.
Former India international and Kashmiri footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo lauded the initiative, stating, “There is a lot of footballing talent in Kashmir. For RFYS to go there is a great initiative, and it is a good opportunity for youngsters to showcase their skills.” Wadoo emphasised the potential for Kashmiri players to excel in the Indian Super League (ISL) and the national team.
Danish Farooq, midfielder for Kerala Blasters FC and a Srinagar native expressed optimism, saying, “The RFYS initiative is going to be very important for all the boys and girls who will participate in the competition. It will be a great opportunity and with people watching them play, it will be a good platform to show their talents.”
RFYS aims to elevate the footballing structure in Kashmir by providing quality playing time, coach development, and grants for football development. Having impacted nearly nine million students since its inception, RFYS considers the Kashmir leg a crucial step in the programme’s future, the statement said.