Newspaper backs Indian school football initiative

Yet another exciting season of the Hindustan Times NEXT School Soccer League 2006 got underway at the Modern Barakhamba School [and] with 12 top schools from Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon competing each other the league is the most definitive football league in Delhi and NCR, stated a media release through Business Wire India. To promote football at the youngest level, the league has become an annual feature of the school calendar and is being held regularly for the past three years. The focus of the tournament is to develop the game in a more structured manner at the grass root level.

The organisers Simla Youngs ensure that the tournament is played in the best of the spirits by all participants. Tushar Dev, Director, Simla Youngs, was delighted to see the League get into its third year, and is of the strong belief that such endeavors do provide the nursery for budding talent, something sorely missed in Indian football.

Hindustan Times NEXT - India’s first youth newspaper has taken the initiative in sponsoring the tournament. All kids are given kit and clothing for the tournament something that not even many senior teams had the privilege of. This year witnesses another brand coming on board to support the cause. BOOST has supported the event as an associate sponsor and official energy drink, further building its huge popularity amongst kids.

Twelve teams are divided into four groups. Each team goes through a round robin format in their respective groups in home and away format with top 2 teams qualifying from each group for the Quarterfinals. The main rules of the Hindustan Times NEXT School Soccer League are: for children of classes 6, 7 and 8 only (and must be born after 31 December 1992); Eleven playing from a total of 16 players, 25 min each half, 5 min break in between; Football pitch size: Full size football ground; Goal Post Size: Full size goalposts; Football Size: 5 No; Offside rule will be implemented and every free kick is be direct; and goal kicks or defensive free kicks within the penalty area may be kicked from the edge of the penalty area.