Monday, 30th October 2017

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Boost for Salt Lake soccer school

The Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy, funded by the Salt Lake civic body, has received accreditation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), that puts them in the running for fielding teams in the junior national football league.

By Snehal Sengupta and Rith Basu
  • Published 8.06.18
  •  
Football practice in progress on one of the grounds of the Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy

Salt Lake: The Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy, funded by the Salt Lake civic body, has received accreditation from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), that puts them in the running for fielding teams in the junior national football league.

The academy opposite Bikash Bhavan has two football grounds and coaches around 300 students aged six to 18.

"We have issued the academy accreditation to the Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy. Now the academy is in the running for permission to play in the junior national football leagues under various age groups. The final decision will be taken in July," an AIFF official said.

The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation hopes to field a team each in three categories of the Youth League matches, including Under-13, Under 15 and Under-18. Sixty youngsters have been chosen to represent the academy in the league matches. Thirty more will be shortlisted.

Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta said getting the affiliation had been an uphill task as the AIFF has a strict set of guidelines.

"We had to send all the details of the academy to the AIFF. All the facets came under strict scrutiny and points were allotted for different facilities," Dutta said.

The football school was started on December 19, 1999.

"AIFF rules stipulate that a football academy must have a field measuring between 120mX90m and 90mX45m and the quality of the surface must be good in terms of level/safety, uniform grass cover, maintenance and drainage. There are nine certified coaches who train the budding footballers," the mayoral council member in charge of sports, Prosenjit Sardar, said.

"The academy has two fields that have a natural grass turf and are equipped with floodlights. We also have a gymnasium for the players," Sardar said.

Priyam Dey, the general secretary of the academy, is looking forward to fielding teams in the 2018-19 session.

"The matches are likely to start from October and our teams will have Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy emblazoned on their jerseys," Dey said.

Mayor Dutta said the corporation would try to pump in more funds to ensure the best training facilities at the academy. "We don't take any monthly fees from the players. There is a small admission fee that is also waived in case of promising players from financially weak backgrounds," Dutta said.