The super division league match between United Football Academy (in blue) and Singhbhum Soccer Fans at Gopal Maidan on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Brazil’s victory in the first match of the beautiful game has further whipped up football fanaticism in Jharkhand’s city of sports.
The Jamshedpur Sporting Association, which hosts popular local leagues, is gearing up to organise a daylong tournament in the first week of July. Fifteen mixed outfits from premier, super and A-division will be selected to play the 15-minute-a-match tourney at Gopal Maidan in Bistupur.
“The event has been slated for the next month. We are currently discussing the logistics in order to make the tournament a memorable one in this nail-biting World Cup season. The event will celebrate the biggest festival of football being hosted thousands of miles away in the South American nation,” said Jamshedpur Sporting Association’s (JSA) football committee chairman Ramesh Mehta.
According to him, the top five teams who qualify the JSA super league will be skimmed for the tournament dedicated to the World Cup.
“A mix of super league players will be seen in action during the matches that will have a five-minute lemon break too,” Mehta, also the vice-president of Jharkhand Football Association, said.
He added that the matches would not have the offside rule and strikers would be free to score goals from any corner of the Gopal Maidan greens.
JSA insiders are sanguine about the success of the tourney. “Currently, we have a packed league schedule. By the time the super league begins in July., only top teams will remain in the fray in all the three divisions. A host of outfits will get eliminated. We will have enough breathing space for the World Cup commemorative meet,” a JSA official said.
Another JSA functionary said to host the event in an efficient manner, suggestions and help from the Tata Steel sport department would be sought. The steel major patronises local leagues in the city.
Thirty-six outfits — nine each from premier and super divisions and 18 from A-division are playing the ongoing league at Gopal Maidan, on armoury grounds and at the Keenan Stadium.
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