Nike launches Manchester United Premier Cup

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Sports apparel giant Nike Wednesday announced the start of this year's India-leg of the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) that will be held from April 29 to May 4.

The MUPC tournament that is held under the aegis of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will witness 20 best I-league and state teams from across India compete to be crowned MUPC India Champions in Goa, May 9.

This year the U-15 tournament will be held in two stages, the teams from the North and East regions of India will battle it out in Jamshedpur while the teams from the West and South zones will compete in Goa. The first phase of the tournament will kick off April 29 at Jamshedpur and the second phase May 4 in Goa.

Avinash Pant, Marketing Director, Nike India, said: "Nike's MUPC is an effort to provide young footballers in India the opportunity to compete against the best teams in

the country and later at a global stage. MUPC is today one of the most anticipated U15 tournament in the country; we thank AIFF for helping us elevate MUPC India to this level. This year being the twentieth edition of MUPC globally, we promise to make this memorable for the teams participating."

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said: "In India, we need to build the sport at a grassroot level and initiatives like Nike's MUPC is a fantastic platform for young footballers to excel and represent India in a global arena. Football in India is definitely garnering a lot of interest off late and tournament like these will help build the sport from a young age itself. Nike's MUPC is one of the finest U15 tournaments in the country and we are thrilled to be associated with Nike."