The U-14 Football Fest conducted by the All India Football Federation kicked-off at the picturesque Kalyani Stadium Ground in Nadia on Tuesday (January 31) morning. The Fest, aimed in spotting players for the various AIFF-FIFA Regional Academies and the National Age-Group Teams was inaugurated by Minister for Food Processing and Horticulture, West Bengal, Mr. Ujjwal Biswas.
Mr. Biswas marked the opening with the traditional lighting of the lamp in presence of Dr. Pradip Kumar Sur, Chairman, Kalyani Municipality, who is also the President of the Organising Committee.
Scot O’Donnell -- Technical Manager, Regional Academies; Colm Toal – Head Coach, Youth Development Programme and Shubhankar Mukherjee, Director, National Teams, AIFF were also present on the occasion. Mr. Gobinda Chandra Naskar, Member of Parliament, Bongaon, was also part of the proceedings.
The 27 teams represented by 594 kids participating in the Fest which concludes on February 4, 2012 were also treated to a Cultural Programme. Besides, Guinness Book record-holder Uttam Das demonstrated his juggling skills on a motorbike, much to the appreciation of the boys.
The teams have been divided into 7 groups of four-teams each. Each team would be playing three matches of 30-minute duration after which they would again be classified in separate groups – for stronger teams and weaker teams.
AIFF’s spotters for the Fest: Scott O’Donnell, Savio Medeira, Colm Toal, Marcus Pacheco, Aqeel Ansari, Francisco Bruto da Costa, Gautam Ghosh, Tarun Roy & Hilal Rasool Parray.
Group 1: Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi.
Group 2: Haryana, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat.
Group 3: Uttarakhand, Manipur, Pondicherry, Goa.
Group 4: Maharashtra, Kerala, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh.
Group 5: Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal.
Group 6: Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim (Did not turn up).
Group 7: Orissa, Mizoram, Bihar, Chandigarh.