Better luck next time: JRD Tata Sports Complex
The 2013 edition of Under-17 Sub-junior National Football Championship, played out for Dr. B.C. Roy Trophy, will be staged at Ranchi and Bokaro later this month.
Thirty-two outfits from across the country will display their dribbling skills during the tournament that will see participating teams divided into two tiers.
“While tier-1 fixtures will be played at Birsa Munda Football Stadium and Mecon grounds in Ranchi from September 20-29, tier-2 matches will be held at Kumar Mangalam Stadium and St. Xavier’s College grounds in Bokaro from September 19-28,” said Jharkhand Football Association (JFA) secretary Ghulam Rabbani.
Rabbani said that players putting up a good show during the event stand a chance of being chosen for the national Under-19 camp. “Till two years ago, this tournament was meant for Under-19 boys. All India Football Federation (AIFF) reduced the age group so that budding talents get ample time to prove their mettle at the national camp. This would improve their chances to make it to the national Under-19 side,” he told The Telegraph.
AIFF has appointed two selectors for the tournament.
JFA has good reason to overlook Jamshedpur as a host for the tournament this time. “Jamshedpur’s Keenan Stadium and JRD Tata Sports Complex are regular venues for premier football ties. The steel city hosted the prestigious Federation Cup this year. We opted for Ranchi and Bokaro as we wanted to give other cities a chance too,” the JFA secretary said.
Significantly, AIFF had not allotted the Federation Cup to Jamshedpur. It fell on the steel city’s lap only when the Birsa Munda Football Stadium in Ranchi was found unfit to host the tournament and the national body was forced to change the venue.
Asked about the condition of the Ranchi stadium, Rabbani said it was being prepared for the tie. “Levelling and grass cutting is in progress. We were embarrassed due to the condition of the stadium earlier this year. We sincerely hope the same mistake is not repeated now,” he added.
Meanwhile, the state outfit is gearing up for the high-octane drama.
“The team from Jharkhand will be finalised after a two-day selection trial in Ranchi. The proceedings got underway today,” said JFA vice-president Ramesh Mehta.