Steel city to host U-20 soccer league

After the prestigious Federation Cup, the steel city is all set to host the I-League under-20 tournament in March this year.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has allotted the league to Jamshedpur, keeping in mind the availability of infrastructure and facilities here. The fixture, to be conducted for the first time in Jamshedpur, will be organised by Tata Steel in association with Jharkhand Football Association (JFA).

The decision to allot the league to Jamshedpur was taken at an AIFF executive committee meeting held in New Delhi on January 15. The meeting was chaired by AIFF president Praful Patel and was attended by senior office bearers of the federation.

The league will witness talented under-20 footballers from various teams, including JCT, Churchill Brothers, Dempo, Salgaocar, Sporting Clube de Goa, Air India, Chirag United Kerala, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Pailan Arrows and Prayag United.

The I-League under-20 is the top level of youth football in India. JCT won the first edition of the league in 2011.

JFA vice-president Ramesh Mehta confirmed that the league fixture has been allotted to the steel city.

"The AIFF has also spoken to Tata Steel sports department in this regard. We have also initiated a dialogue with the Tatas. The tournament is scheduled in the first week of March," he added.

Spadework for forming a committee for the efficient conduct of the event will begin shortly. The grounds earmarked are JRD Tata Sports Complex, Keenan Stadium and Gopal Maidan. A final decision on the exact venue (ground) where the tourney will be played would be decided later.

The 34th Federation Cup was successfully conducted at the JRD Tata Sports Complex and Keenan Stadium in September last year.

The Fed Cup was earlier allotted to Ranchi but poor maintenance of the ground at Birsa Munda Stadium forced the AIFF to shift the tournament to Jamshedpur.

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