New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will host the Delhi part of the 'Oorja' CAPF Under-19 men's and women's national football tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here from May 1 to 10, it was announced on Monday.
A total of 16 teams (eight men's and eight women's) from schools and clubs will take part in the Delhi competition of the 'Oorja' tournament, floated by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), the CISF declared at Vigyan Bhawan.
Seen as part of the build-up to the U-17 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India later in the year, the 'Oorja' tournament, scheduled to begin on May 1 in every state and Union territory, will involve around 12,500 players and 1,200 matches.
The winners from Delhi will then represent the capital city in the zonal competition in Chandigarh. The winners in the Punjab capital will come to Delhi to take part in the final in July.
CISF Additional Director General Dharmendra Kumar said it was a dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that football fever grips India ahead of the U-17 FIFA World Cup, to be held at six venues in October.
Besides Delhi, the CISF will also host the tournament in Maharashtra, Goa, Telengana, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Brand Ambassador of the event, former football captain Bhaichung Bhutia hailed the initiative of the CAPF. "It is a great initiative and a great start, thanks to the Home Ministry," Bhutia said.
Bhutia said that the youngsters will have a platform to showcase their talent.
"During my days, at best we used to get four-five national team matches per year and a Subroto Cup tournament. Now with this, the kids will be getting more chances to compete against each other," he said.
He also implored the CISF to be involved in more grassroot football programmes.