Category: News

AU Rajasthan FC launches Residential Academy

Since the last one year, AU Rajasthan Football Club has slowly been catching the sports fraternity’s attention in India (specially in Rajasthan). After a year’s hard work and success, AU Rajasthan FC, in collaboration with Poornima University, has launched a premier football residential academy in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The players for this academy were carefully handpicked by the AU Rajasthan FC team through trials in all major cities in India.

In this new set up, the players from across the country would be staying in a residential facility with top notch facilities like an international size professional football field, fully functional gym, mess, medical room with a 24×7 physiotherapist, library and all other basic needs in terms of training, nutrition, academic, and accommodation. A total package like this is surely going to motivate the youth and the nation as a whole, to take football to new heights in our country.

The event was held at the mesmerizing Poornima campus and was attended by a lot of football enthusiast from the city including players, coaches and parents. Also attending the event were Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, CEO AU small finance bank and Rahul Singhvi, Director Poornima University, who motivated the players with their encouraging words.

On the occasion of the launch, the CEO of the club, Mr. Sohil Bhansali, expressed his gratitude towards Poornima University for sharing the club’s vision of becoming the leading professional club in the country. According to Sohil, the club is attracting talent from all across the country, especially from football friendly states like Assam, Mizoram, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa etc. coming all the way to Jaipur to train with AU Rajasthan Football Club.

Mr. Sanjay Agarwal on the occasion of this historic event, expressed his all out support towards the development of the sport in the state and how his dream of having a player from our state and club to become part of the national team is taking shape in the right direction. Mr. Agarwal focused how AU Small Finance Bank shall leave no stone unturned to provide the best of the infrastructure the young bloods and how only their dedication & determination will help them reach the peak in the footballing world.

Apart from the launch of the residential academy, the club also unveiled its new jersey dedicated  to the induction of Jaipur as an UNSECO world heritage site.  The new jersey in blue proudly shows Jaipur’s most prized possession, The Hawa Mahal on it’s front. This great gesture was loved by everyone present at the event. Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd) explained the intention behind this i.e. giving back to the city, by taking this achievement where ever the club goes.

Mr. Garg also spoke about the companies vision for AU Rajasthan FC. The main focus is to develop football in Rajasthan not only as a sport, but as a discipline. There is a lot of talent in remote parts of Rajasthan which with proper support, both technically and otherwise, can boost their growth. The company is currently organising district outreach in which the club will conduct free camps in various districts in Rajasthan to motivate the youth. They are paying close attention on grass root level by training kids under the age of 10 as well, so that they have exposure to sports at an early age. The club is also breaking stereotypes by focusing majorly on women’s team, as a team of 15 girls is being trained regularly at their women’s facility. Mr. Garg also focused on how gradually they aim to host more and more players from all over the country and make an everlasting name for the club in the field of football.

To further add to the celebration, U-13 team of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were invited to Jaipur to play an exhibition match with AU Rajasthan FC U-13 squad. Players from both the teams showed exceptional zest and skills which the dignitaries, parents and others attending enjoyed.

The other dignitaries present on the occasion of the launch were, Dr.Manish Gupta (Pro Chancellor, Poornima University), Mr. Suresh Chandra (Vice Chancellor, Poornima University) & Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd).

Sports Ministry will provide extra financial help for Indian football’s growth: Kiren Rijiju

AHMEDABAD: Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs & Sports, and Minister of State for Minority Affairs, affirmed the Ministry of Sports “will provide extra financial help wherever it’s possible” to help Indian Football propel to the next level.

“We have seen certain improvements in our men’s as well as women’s football in recent times. From the sports ministry, we will provide extra financial help wherever it’s possible to scout, and nurture young talents as well as for the professional training, and other events,” Rijiju said in an exclusive interview with AIFF.

Rijiju was speaking on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup 2019 in Ahmedabad where he came to cheer for the Blue Tigers.

The 47-year-old minister also didn’t hide his affinity towards football, and declared the Ministry of Sports will put more attention to “better training, coaching, facilities and other requirements.”

“The ministry of sports will provide whatever is required for better training, coaching, facilities, and other demands and requirements whichever will be placed by the AIFF. We’ll always be there. I’m very enthusiastic about supporting any kind of sport in India, and football is very special for me,” Rijiju maintained.

The minister also praised the Indian Senior Women’s Team for their recent rise in the FIFA rankings which were released on July 12, 2019.

“I must compliment the women’s team for rising to 57 in the FIFA Rankings recently. That’s a huge jump. I’m very confident that the standard of the women’s team will rise further”, he declared.

“Football is the biggest game in terms of popularity, reach, size. We also have to put a lot of effort to improve our football.  Be it a village or a city, football is a game which can be played anywhere. I’m very hopeful that the standard of Indian Football will rise in the years to come.”

India U-19s will face Jordan and Oman in Turkey exposure tour

NEW DELHI: The Indian U-19 National Team will be clashing swords against Jordan and Oman U-19 National Team in an exposure tour in Turkey, in preparation of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers later this year.

The Indian U-19 National Team has already acted as a feeder to the senior national team with players like Amarjit Singh, Suresh Singh, Boris Singh and Narendra being regular call-ups in camps, while Amarjit Singh, who was India’s captain in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 has already earned two caps for the senior national team.

The Indian U-19s will be facing the Oman U-19 and Jordan U-19 team and will be playing one friendly match against a local club side Kocaelispor in Kartepe, Turkey from July 19- 27, 2019. 

Speaking on the exposure tour, Head Coach Floyd Pinto said, “We aim to play as many international matches as possible, the more we play the better get.

“The exposure tour to Turkey serves as a good platform to test ourselves against West Asian opposition”

“We aim to solidify our playing style, narrow down on our core group of players as we inch closer to the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers in November”, he added.

The list of the 23 selected players for the exposure trip follow below:

GOALKEEPERS: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Niraj Kumar, Lalbiakhula Jongte

DEFENDERS: Jitendra Singh, Narendar, Gurkirat Singh, Sumit Rathi, Muhammad Rafi, Akash Mishra, Bikash Yumnam, Manish Chaudhary, Thoiba Singh

MIDFIELDERS: Amarjit Singh, Jeakson Singh, Ninthoiganba Meetei, Givson Singh, Ricky Shabong, Sailo Lalchhanhima, Robin Yadav, 

FORWARDS: Harmanpreet Singh, Vikram Partap Singh, Rohit Danu, Ridge Demello, 

The fixture of India’s exposure matches in Turkey follow below:

July 19: vs Oman U-19

July 22: vs Oman U-19

July 24: vs Jordan U-19

July 27: vs Kocaelispor U-19

66.7% win record elevates Indian women’s team to 57 in FIFA rankings

NEW DELHI: A 66.7 % win record in the last 18 matches played since January 2019 propelled the Indian Senior Women’s National Team to jump 6 places to 57 in the FIFA Women’s Ranking released on July 12, 2019. Currently, the Indian women are ranked 11th in Asia.

Since January 2019, the women’s have played 18 matches winning 12, drawn 1, and lost 5. The matches are from their exposure tours to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Turkey, the SAFF Championship in Nepal, the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in Myanmar, besides the inaugural Hero Gold Cup international tournament in Bhubaneswar. The team is next slated to play the COTIF Cup in Spain later this month.

Head Coach Maymol Rocky credited the players “for working hard” for the rise in the FIFA ladder.

“The entire nation will be happy that the Women’s Team has climbed six spots in the FIFA Rankings. The entire credit goes with the girls. They have worked hard for it, and we need to work harder from now on,” Maymol said.

Iconic Indian striker Sunil Chhetri, currently the second highest goal scorer in International Football among active players with 70 goals stated that he is “extremely proud of the girls.”

“They have been doing really well. I’m really proud of the girls. I’ve spoken to them once before recently, and told them they can do wonders. I hope they keep working hard, keep doing what they are doing. I’m sure things will keep on improving,” Chhetri said from Ahmedabad, where the Blue Tigers are playing in the ongoing Hero Intercontinental Cup.

The women’s team are currently camping in the Capital for their preparation for the forthcoming COTIF Cup.

AIFF’s Director of National Teams, and former India captain Abhishek Yadav added that the “women’s football have picked up the momentum.”

“Women’s football in India has picked up momentum. AIFF along with Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Government of Odisha have a dedicated plan to promote women’s football, and provide further exposure to the Women’s Senior National team,” he explained.

AIFF Player of the Year 2018-19 Ashalata Devi felt “the aim should be to climb higher.”

“Currently, we are 11th in Asia. We are aware of our abilities. The self-belief after the exposure tours has been driving us. We need to break into the top 10 in Asia.”

Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan added: “As a team we are really proud of the effort which we put in, and the results we’ve got since assembling in December last year. Our new ranking will motivate us further to keep pushing ourselves.”

“There is a bit of a gap between the top-ranked teams, and where we are at the moment. But everyone – the players, the staff, AIFF, the Government are working very hard to provide the girls all the facilities to close down that gap,” the Coach explained.

Minerva Punjab awarded for Grassroots football development at FICCI GOAL 2019

NEW DELHI: The FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) along with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) on 26th March 2019 organised GOAL 2019, the 6th International Convention on Business of Football in Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. Mr. Subrata Dutta (Senior Vice President); Smt. Sara Pilot (Chairperson, Women’s Football Committee) and Mr. Sunando Dhar (CEO of Hero I-League) represented AIFF at the convention, while Mr. Rohit Bharadwaj, Director of Sports of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports from Government of India was also present.

Minerva Punjab FC were awarded for “Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level” at the opening ceremony. 

Minerva Punjab FC were chosen for the award ahead of all other clubs and academies in the country, due to Minerva’s laudable efforts to develop football at a regional and grassroots level. Minerva Punjab FC have been Champions of the AIFF U-15 I-League for the last three consecutive years. Minerva also won the inaugural AIFF U-13 League held last year and this season have already claimed the AIFF U-18 League trophy. 

Apart from the impressive win record of Minerva Punjab FC, Minerva also has the unique contribution of having supplied more than 50 players in various age group National teams directly from its residential football academy in Mohali.

Mr. Robert Klein, the CEO of Bundesliga awarded Minerva Punjab FC for their Valuable Contribution for Developing Football at the Grassroots Level. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj, the Owner of the club received the award on club’s behalf. “I am really happy that Minerva Punjab FC is being recognised for all the work we are doing to develop football at a regional level. We are devoted towards fulfilling our mission to produce players for the National Teams and this award comes as a great encouragement to us to carry on despite the obstacles.”

After the Awards ceremony the convention kicked off with a session on regional and national impact of the leagues (ISL and I-League) in the development of Indian Football. Mr. Ranjit Bajaj represented the only I-League club on the panel, Minerva Punjab FC and shared his perspective from the point of view of an I-League club owner. Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League; Mr. Mandar Tamhane, CTO, Bengaluru FC; Mr. Indranil Das Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC and Mr. Viren D’Silva, CEO, Kerala Blasters FC were also on the panel for the session. The discussion progressed from India’s 2026 World Cup hopes, the impact of the leagues in creating talent pool for the future and how the leagues have benefited the football ecosystem in the country. 

Amateur World Chess-Boxing Championship begins in Kolkata tomorrow

KOLKATA: The second edition of Amateur World Chess Boxing Championship will take place in Kolkata from 26th July to 29th July, 2018.

This is the second time in the history of the young  sport a three days tournament will be held open to everyone with both good chess and boxing skills.

Fighters from all over the world are expected, hailing from the member countries of the World Chess Boxing Organisation (such as Russia, Germany, India, USA and Italy) to fighters from countries where there is not yet a chessboxing organization in place (such as France and South Africa). The experience of the fighters varies from 3 to more than 80 amateur boxing bouts as well as chess ELO ratings between 1200 and 2200.

A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A bout begins with a three-minute chess round, followed by three minutes of boxing. Competitors each have a maximum total of nine minutes to complete all their chess moves.

A fight can be won in one of four ways: by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision, or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“By combining the number one fighting sport with the number one thinking sport, there is no other sport that challenges the full scale of human capacity as radically as chessboxing does!” says lepe Rubingh, inventor of chessboxing.

After creating and founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh started the first Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004 from which all other organisations worldwide emerged. In 2013 The World Chess Boxing Organisation was founded as a non profit to foster the sport of chessboxing on a global amateur level.

Today there are 11 national organizations with more than 3500 fighters and over 1,500 fights take place annually.

The Chess Boxing Organisation of India (CBOI) is the organiser of the second amateur world championships. Under guidance of it’s founding father Montu Das, the CBOI has established itself as one of the leading organizations in the chessboxing community as it is by far the biggest with more than a 1,000 members.

General Facts:
What: Chessboxing Amateur World Championships
Date: 26th-29th of July, 2018.
City, Country: Kolkata, India
Stadium: Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra and Boxing Hall
Governing body: World Chess Boxing Organisation
Organising body: Chess Boxing Organisation of India

IOA President discusses Asian Beach Games 2020 with OCA President

Chennai: The President of the Indian Olympic Association Mr N. Ramachandran had a discussion on the possibility of India hosting the Asian Beach Games in 2020 with the Olympic Council of Asia, Mr Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) on Sunday.

Mr Ramachandran is in the Turkmenistan capital in connection with the inauguration of the Asian Indoor and Martial Games which is being held there from September 17 to 27 as also the OCA’s General Assembly which is scheduled there on September 20. A decision on the allotment of the Beach Games is expected to be taken at the General Assembly. India’s bid would be subject to the Union Government’s approval, Mr Ramachandran said.

India is also a participant in the ten-day Indoor Games in Ashgabat. The IOA President said he had also discussed with the OCA President the India contingent’s participation in this Games. Other development activities of the IOA also came up in the discussion, he added.

Two Golds for Aryan at South African Junior Nationals

Durban, South Africa: Swimmer Aryan Makhija claimed his third medal at the South African Junior Nationals with a win in the 1500 m freestyle event at the King’s Park Swimming Pool, in Durban, South Africa, on Monday. Makhija’s time of 16:05.64 beats the qualification standard set by the Swimming Federation of India for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held in Bahamas, in July.

“Aryan has been working really hard as it was his main aim to beat the qualification time since it was announced by the Swimming Federation of India. I’m very proud of what he’s achieved and I’m sure he will continue to improve and go on to even higher levels of performance,” said JSW Sports’ Swimming Head Coach, Graham Hill, who also serves as coach for Swimming South Africa.

South Africa’s James Freeman (16:05.85) finished second while Andrew Ritchie (16:25.73) claimed third in a race that was tightly contested right from the start between the 17-year-old Makhija and Freeman, who represented the University of Pretoria.

A two-horse race for most parts, at the 500 meter mark, Freeman clocked in at 5:22.22 while Makhija was close behind at 5:22.44. Mumbai-born Aryan made his move in the second 500 meter stretch, clocking in at 1000 meters with a 1.72 second lead over Freeman. The final stretch saw Freeman move within 1.36 seconds of Makhija with 50 meters to cover, but it wasn’t to be for the South African.

Aryan’s finish beats the Swimming Federation of India’s qualification time of 16:06.06 (based on the third place finish at the previous Commonwealth Youth Games) by 0.42 seconds and the youngster expressed his happiness at having recorded the feat.

“I’m really happy to have claimed three medals, but more so to have beaten the qualification time for the Commonwealth Youth Games. Graham sir has been pushing me to work harder every day and I have to thank him and the JSW Sports family for all their support,” Makhija said.

Earlier, Aryan had claimed Silver in the 200 metre freestyle event with a time of 1:56.51 and Gold in the 400m freestyle clocking in at 4:05.15.

CFL: Tough task awaits Bagan against Tollygunge

By Ajay Majumder

KOLKATA: Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty has urged his side to forget the 6-0 drubbing they handed out to Army XI last weekend when they face Tollygunge Agragami in the Calcutta Football League on Thursday.

The match was originally scheduled on August 29 but has been abandoned in stoppage time at tied 1-1 after assistant referee Ujjal Haldar canceled Bagan’s Azharuddin Mallick’s goal for offside which saw Mohun Bagan fans invaded the playing area and threw objects on the ground.

Bagan officials later demanded for a replay which IFA accepted however Tollygunge, initially, did oppose the decision but eventually agreed to play the match avoiding a clash with the parent body.

“Tollygune is a strong side. They have put on a great show in the game that has been abandoned so we have to be cautious in our approach and need to avoid mistakes, committed last time around,” coach Sankarlal said ahead his team’s penultimate game in the CFL.

Going into the game Mohun Bagan will be without the services of regular centre-backs in Sanjay Balmuchu and Raju Gaikwad alongside winger Prabir Das who left for their respective ISL franchises. However, coach Sankarlal feels that it’s high time for the young players in the squad to step up in the absence of the seniors which will be a good positive sign for their future.

Tollygune, on the other hand, are on 8 points from 6 games just a point above the relegation zone therefor the Ranjan Chaudhury-led side will be eager to notch up a positive result allowing themselves some breating space in the league table.

Facing Mohun Bagan, Tollygunge will be relying on strike pair of Joel Sunday and Alfred Jaryan for goals upfront. Joining them will be the likes of Surabuddin Mallick,  Rakesh Masih and Reisangmei Vashum who would play a crucial role in the midfield.

The game at Mohun Bagan Ground kicks off at 5.30 pm on Thursday and there will be no telecast.

Punjab State Super Football League starts from tomorrow


Punjab: Punjab Football Association has planned to commence 30th JCT Punjab State Super Football League 2016 -2017 from 11th September, 2016 and conclude on 17th October, 2016. The following top eleven teams from Punjab are taking part in this event:

Border Security Force (BWF)-Jalandhar
Punjab Police Football Team, Jalandhar
Dailbir Football Academy, Patiala
Rail Coach Factory Football Team, Kapurthala
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – Jalandhar
Punjab state Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) – Hoshiarpur
Doaba Sporting Club, Khera-Mahilpur
Gurur Football Club, Jalandhar
Jangpur Football Club -Jangpur (Qualifier Team from Group A)
Satluj Football Club – Bichhohi (Qualifier Team from Group)
Jagat Singh Palahi Football Club – Phagwara (Qualifier as Best Team)

Total eleven rounds of five matches each have been arranged as this year Punjab Super Football League will be held on single leg league basis thereby each team having three home, three away and four neutral games. Thus according to change in format and not to confine this league in only three four districts, this year too PFA has planned to hold league’s neutral matches in multi-cities of Punjab so as it may reach at rural level in entire state of Punjab, some areas where grassroots football projects are also going on, have been chosen to host super league matches for youth of Punjab.

The opening ceremony has been assigned to Jangpur Sports Complex, Jangpur (District Ludhiana), from 11th September, 2016 at 4:00 PM followed by opening match between Jangpur Football Club and Punjab Police Football Team, where a set of opening neutral marches have been planned.

Although, JCT is playing its pivotal role in supporting PFA development activities, however, Legend International (INDPRO SPORTS) has also joined hand with Punjab Football Association and JCT to boost up football development in Punjab State. PFA approves ‘ULTRA’ as official ball for playing Super League Games. The Kick off time for all matches is fixed as 4:00 PM.