FIFA and LOC Delegation Satisfied with Bhubaneswar’s Preparations for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020

Bhubaneswar, 29 November 2019: A FIFA delegation alongside members of the Local Organising Committee inspected the Kalinga Stadium to ascertain the readiness of Bhubaneswar to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020.

Following the visit, the delegation expressed their satisfaction with the work which has been put in at the venue.

FIFA Project Lead for the Tournament Mr Oliver Vogt said, “We’re very happy to be here because we know Bhubaneswar is a city which is very passionate about sports. You have hosted the Hockey World Cup and now it is time to shift to football. If Bhubaneswar is selected as a Host City, we’re very confident that the U-17 Women’s World Cup will be a huge success.”

“Our Government is committed in its efforts to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. We are looking to complete all infrastructural build and upgradations by the first quarter of 2020,” added Mr Vishal Kumar Dev – IAS, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary for Sports and Tourism, Govt. of Odisha.

Tournament Director of the LOC, Ms Roma Khanna said, “Even though more work needs to be done with the overall infrastructure; we are confident in Bhubaneswar’s ability to deliver this. What is even more heartening is the plans towards women’s football development that are taking shape. We are extremely pleased and very appreciative of the State Government for putting weight behind this initiative. This is a key component for this Tournament, and we want to encourage more support to be given for the overall development of women’s football”.

Bhubaneswar became the third venue to be inspected by the FIFA-LOC delegation after Kolkata and Guwahati. The team will travel to Ahmedabad on Saturday to assess the facilities.

FIFA kicks off U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 inspection in Kolkata

Kolkata, November 26, 2019: An eight-member FIFA delegation led by Mr. Oliver Vogt is visiting India between 26th November 2019 and 1st December 2019 for an official FIFA inspection to evaluate the progress and preparations for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020.

Ahead of the inspection, Project Lead of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020, Mr Oliver Vogt addressed the media in Kolkata and said, “We are very happy to be in India to start the inspection. It is great to be here, and we are looking forward to seeing how things are shaping up. We saw the potential of football in India in 2017 with the men’s edition, and understand how big a success it was here in Kolkata.

“We are confident that every stakeholder will work hard to ensure the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 is a success and that the tournament also makes its mark in the history of women’s football. In this visit, besides the infrastructure of the stadium and training sites, we are interested to see the plans that the different venues have for the further development of women’s football in the country”.

“It is great to be back at this iconic stadium, which put its name in history in 2017. The active involvement of the Hon’ble CM and the Government of West Bengal was crucial in the success in 2017. Given this is a women’s tournament, and Hon’ble CM’s enthusiasm towards empowerment of women, we’re confident of similar support for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as well. That will be key in creating the same experience for the fans and the teams in Kolkata,” added Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee, Ms Roma Khanna.

“The State Government reiterates its commitment not just for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, but also for the build-up to the Tournament. We are as committed as we were during the U-17 Men’s World Cup in 2017. Similar, if not better, things will be done this time,” Shri Anoop Kumar Agrawal – IAS, Principal Secretary to the Govt. of West Bengal said.

Also present at the event was Mr Subrata Datta, LOC Board Member & Senior Vice President – AIFF, who expressed his pride in India getting a chance to host the second FIFA World Cup in three years.

The FIFA and LOC delegation will inspect the stadium and training sites in Kolkata tomorrow, and follow it up with an inspection in Guwahati on Thursday, 28th November 2019.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 will be held between 2nd and 21st November.

Gokulam sign Kerala Santosh Trophy star Jithin MS

Kozhikode, November 21: Gokulam Kerala FC has completed the signing of Kerala’s Santosh Trophy hero Jithin MS for the upcoming I-League season. The right-winger hails from Thrissur and has been in a spectacular form in the past two seasons of Santosh Trophy for Kerala.

“I want to play more matches and I believe I can achieve more with Malabarians. The club is one of the most promising clubs in the country and I will try my best to find place in the starting eleven,” said Jithin MS after signing a long-term contract with the club.

“The club has already made a name in the country. Within three years of inception the club has achieved a lot. Winning the historic Durand Cup and playing in the semifinal of an AFC-recognized tournament is not a small feat. I want to contribute more to the club and I am extremely happy to join Malabarians,” said the player.

Jithin has helped Kerala win Santosh Trophy in the 2017-18 season. He was the top-scorer along with Rahul KP, another Gokulam Kerala FC player.

“We are very happy to have Jithin among us, a young player with a lot of potential. Hopefully Gokulam fans can watch his qualities. The squad has become really good and players like Jithin will add more value to the team,” said Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Fernando Santiago Varela.

I-League returns with its 13th edition, to commence on November 30

NEW DELHI: The 13th edition of the I-League was officially launched at a glittering ceremony in the National Capital today (November 21, 2019).

The League will kick off on November 30, 2019, with former champions Mohun Bagan FC and Aizawl FC locking horns at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Aizawl, Mizoram.

The league will feature 11 teams this season, with the induction of TRAU FC, winners of the Second division last season.

In a first, fans from across the country, this season will witness two local derbies – the legendary Kolkata derby between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, and the Imphal derby featuring Neroca FC and TRAU FC.

The I–League has witnessed many a fairy-tale in recent years with underdogs such as Aizawl FC, Minerva Punjab FC (now Punjab FC) and Chennai City FC winning the previous three editions. The 12th edition debutants Real Kashmir also created a flutter and were the title contenders at one-point.

The 13th edition of the I-League 2019-20 will be broadcast live exclusively on DSPORT. The prize money for the top four teams will be as follows:

Winners – Rs. 1 Crore

Runners up – Rs. 60 Lakh

Third Place – Rs. 40 Lakh

Fourth Place – Rs. 25 Lakh.

Praful Patel, President, AIFF in his statement said: “We are very happy to welcome TRAU FC to the 13th edition of the I-League. The pan India presence has been the unique feature of the league in the last few editions, and is a true testimony to the manner it has played a critical role in spreading the game to all corners of the country.”

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, said: “Over the years the I-League has been scouting and providing a platform for future stars of Indian Football. In the 13th edition this year we have 11 teams from eight states and one Union Territory fighting for the top honours. I wish luck to all the participating teams.”

The 11 teams from eight states and one Union Territory at the 13th I-League are – Defending Champions Chennai City FC (Chennai), Punjab FC (Punjab), Aizawl FC (Mizoram), NEROCA FC (Manipur), TRAU FC (Manipur), Mohun Bagan & East Bengal (West Bengal), Gokulam Kerala FC (Kerala), Churchill Brothers FC Goa (Goa), Indian Arrows (Goa) and Real Kashmir FC (Kashmir).

The first match will kick off on November 30, 2019 between Aizawl FC and Mohun Bagan in Aizawl, at 2:00 PM.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team lose 2-3 to Spain

Murcia (Spain), 27 January 2019: Indian Women’s Hockey Team put up a spirited fightback yet lost to Spain 2-3 in their opening match against hosts Spain here on Saturday.

India used strong attacking strategy to begin the first quarter on a positive note. The team made the first breakthrough when they managed to earn a penalty corner in the 8th minute but could not convert the shot, however, in the following minutes the forwardline worked together to support experienced Vandana who created a splendid opportunity for compatriot Udita to score in the 12th minute. A reverse pass by Vandana was picked up well by Udita who made no mistake in sending it past the Spanish goalkeeper Maria Ruiz to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second quarter, hosts Spain stepped up their game after the initial setback to score an equaliser in the 23rd minute through Maria Tost. While the second half saw both teams defend well to contain eachother from taking a lead, the third quarter completely belonged to Spain as they struck two goals in the 39th and 40th minute through Lola Reira and Begona Garcia respectively.

The fourth quarter remained tense for India as they fought back to make amends to their defensive lapses in the previous quarter. A tactical approach to their attack saw them win a crucial PC which was brilliantly converted by dragflicker Gurjit Kaur in the 48th minute. The following minutes was evenly fought battle by both teams but Spain ensured they upped their defence to deny India an equaliser.

I-League 2018/19: East Bengal claim Kolkata Derby bragging rights

Kolkata, December 16, 2018: A brace by Hero of the Match Laldanmawia Ralte and striker Jobby Justin’s fifth goal in the 12th Hero I-League campaign helped Quess East Bengal (QEB) halt Mohun Bagan’s seven-game unbeaten run in the famous ‘Kolkata Derby played between the two Kolkata giants at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) on Sunday.

Mohun Bagan scored twice through Azharuddin Mallick and Dipanda Dicka, but it was not enough in an exhilarating Derby which lived up to its high standards in front of 64,867 fans.

The win takes QEB up to fifth on the table with 12 points from seven games, while Mohun Bagan remain on eighth with nine points from as many games.

Red and Golds coach Alejandro Garcia made two changes to his starting line-up from the last game, one of them forced. Mexican Enrique Esqueda missed out due to injury and was replaced by Colombian recruit Jaime Santos Colado, while Costa Rican Jhonny Acosta regained his place in the eleven in place of Salam Ranjan Singh.

Coach Sankarlal Chakraborty made the exact same number of changes and ironically also was forced into replacing an injured Sony Norde with youngster Azharduddin Mallick, while Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka was back to lead the attack with Pintu Mahata also out injured.

QEB tried to dominate proceedings from the get-go with Jaimie Colado and Jobby Justin pleasing with their movements.

However, Mohun Bagan struck first on the 13th minute, when Egyptian midfielder Omar El Husseiny took out QEB right back Lalram Chullova with a neat body fient and cut inside the box from the left to unleash a pinpoint cross for Azhar to slot home.

QEB struck back within four minutes as left-back Manoj Mohammad sent a perfectly engineered cross towards Jobby, who beautifully played it through to Danmawia, who beat the offside trap and goalkeeper Shankar Roy in the Bagan goal.

Just before half-time, QEB took the lead, this time through a clinical back-volley finish by Jobby himself, with the same two teammates involved, only this time, Manoj’s cross from the left flank was laid off to Jobby’s path by Ralte.

Sankarlal had brought on Faiaz in place of Azhar, just before the break and Mohun Bagan began on the offensive in the second half looking for an equaliser, mainly through his runs down the right.

Then, around the 60-minute mark, Eze Kingsley, the Bagan centre-back, was sent off due to a second yellow card offence. From the resultant Lalrindika Ralte free-kick, Laldanmawia connected with his head and the ball came back to him off the Bagan defence. He made no mistake in the second attempt, this time his foot exactly in the right place to bulge the roof of the Bagan net. The Red and Golds were 3-1 up and Bagan a man down.

Credit needs to be given to Bagan for the way they mounted a fightback with 10 men after that, with most of the attacks being initiated by Arijit Bagui and Faiaz from the right flank.

In between, Jobby missed a sitter on a counter attack, but Bagan did manage a consolation goal for their efforts, when a Bagui cross in the 75th minute was cleared by Borja, but it only found its way till Dika on top of the box.

The Cameroonian striker unleashed a powerful half-volley which thundered into the QEB net, beating Rakshit Dagar all ends up.

Mohun Bagan continued to step up efforts to draw level, but East Bengal managed to hold on to their lead to pull off the victory.

Bengaluru FC retain Chhetri, Udanta

Bengaluru: In a big statement of intent, Bengaluru FC have retained skipper Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh after the duo signed three-year deals that will keep them with the Indian Super League side till the end of the 2019-20 season, the club announced on Friday. With the signings, Bengaluru FC have ticked off the ISL’s rule of a maximum of two retentions for players over twenty-one years.

 

“We are thrilled at being able to retain the present and the future of Indian football in Sunil and Udanta. The two of them have been immense for Bengaluru FC and will be vital cogs in our wheel as we take on the challenge of rebuilding the club for what will be a tough season ahead,” said club CEO, Parth Jindal.

 

Chhetri, 32, has been with Bengaluru for four seasons, finishing top scorer for the Blues every year. Udanta, meanwhile, joined Bengaluru in the 2014-15 season and has only grown from strength to strength. The twenty-one-year-old from Manipur capped off a fantastic season under Albert Roca last year where he regular starter and played a key role in the club’s Federation Cup triumph. Udanta was also named Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Season at the club’s annual awards night earlier this month.

 

“I’ve always been vocal about how Bengaluru FC is a club that is always close to my heart and I couldn’t be happier to commit three years to the blue shirt of BFC. The Bengaluru FC fans have always shown me so much of love and I’m glad at the prospect of playing in front of them yet again. With Bengaluru in the ISL, these are exciting times at the club and I’m sure we will build the best possible squad for the season,” said Chhetri, who with 54 goals is also the top scorer for the national team.

 

Udanta too expressed happiness at extending his stay with Bengaluru. “I’ve progressed and learnt so much in the three years that I’ve been with Bengaluru FC and I’m looking forward to giving the club and its fans three of my best years to come. It’s also reassuring to have Sunil bhai with me here and I’m confident we will be fighting for trophies like we always do,” said Udanta.

FC Pune City Women’s wins against Tripude Sports Academy

FC Pune City rode on the double strikes from striker Senorita Nogngpluh to blank Tripude Sports Academy, Nagpur in a Group-B league match of the WIFA Women’s Football Championship, which is being conducted as part of the FIFA-AIFF State Development Project, at the Cooperage ground, on Friday. Senorita scored both the goals in the first half, the first in the 14th minute and second in the 27th minute.

In the second match of the day, Aadhar Pratisthan, Mumbai and KSA Women’s FC shared honours as they played out a tame goalless draw.

The Mumbai outfit Aadhar Pratisthan topped the group with 7 points while Pune City were placed second with 6 points and both have qualified for the semi-finals, which is scheduled to be played on Sunday, July 1. The finals will be held the following day on Monday, July 3.

In the semi-finals, Aadhar Pratisthan will take on United Poona FA, while Pune City will clash with hot favourites Bodyline FC.

Results – Group-B: Aadhar Pratisthan, Mumbai 0 drew with KSA Women’s FC, Kolhapur 0.

FC Pune City, Pune 2 (Senorita Nogngpluh 2) beat Tripude Sports Academy, Nagpur 0.

U-23 INDIAN TEAM SET TO PLAY TWO INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES AGAINST SINGAPORE

NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation has arranged for two International matches for the Indian U-23 National Team as part of the preparation process for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championships slated to be held in Doha.

National Coach Stephen Constantine felt the games would be a “learning experience” for the team.

“It’s been two weeks that we have been together and the U-23 boys need competitive games. The tour to Singapore would be a valuable experience for the squad to gauge the intensity of International encounters. I thank AIFF for arranging the matches ahead of our AFC Qualifiers,” he stated.

“The games would be competitive and provide us the much needed exposure,” he further added. It has been under Constantine’s coaching that the Senior Indian National Team has jumped 73 places in the FIFA Rankings to be currently placed 100.

AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said the primary objective of the AIFF is to provide the “best exposure to all National Teams.”

“It is really frustrating that despite applying well in advance and after multiple follow-ups for the US visas we failed to get any response from the concerned authorities. I need to thank the Singapore FA for agreeing to the two International matches which would provide valuable practice for our U-23 boys prior to the AFC U-23 Qualifiers,” he said.

The U-23 Team presently preparing in the Capital since June 19 will fly to Singapore in the first week of July from where they will directly proceed to take on Turkmenistan, Qatar and Syria in Group C from July 19 onwards.

I-LEAGUE CLUBS GIVE CONSENT TO CONCURRENT LEAGUES

NEW DELHI: Representatives of the I-League clubs met with AIFF officials at Football House, New Delhi to discuss the way forward for the I-League for the 2017-18 season till the roadmap for Indian Football in the medium and long term is finalised with assistance and guidance from the Asian Football Confederation.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Subrata Dutta, Chairman League Committee, Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF and Mr. Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League.

The Clubs agreed to the concurrent running of ISL and I-League for the season 2017-18 but stated that the I-League must be broadcast on the Star Sports platform with good quality production and proper marketing and promotion and scheduling of matches. They also recommended that a task force with the I-League Clubs be set up to review the I-League on a regular basis.

They also stated that the travel subsidy needs to be increased and that AIFF should also allocate a budget for the promotion of the I-League for 2017-18 season.

Furthermore, the Clubs recommended for permission to register 8 foreign players out of which 2 should be of Asian origin, and a maximum of five foreign players should be allowed to play on the field, one among which needs to be a player of Asian origin.

Mr. Subrata Dutta who chaired this meeting said all the recommendations of the I-League Clubs will be placed before the League Committee whose meeting is scheduled on July 5, 2017, and the final decisions of the Committee will be communicated to the clubs.

Meanwhile, the AFC has sent a communication to AIFF expressing happiness that the AIFF Executive Committee has approved the project to determine the medium and long term road map for top Indian Club football. A draft project plan will be sent by AFC soon in this regard.

However, for the season 2017-18 the AFC Secretariat is prepared to accept the concurrent running of the ISL and I league as a temporary short term “bridging” solution. The special dispensation has been reviewed and agreed by FIFA.

AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das thanked AFC for their guidance and support. “The growth of Indian Football is our primary objective and we will take every step necessary to ensure positive results. We look forward to working with AFC and the other stakeholders to determine the most suitable medium to long term road map for Indian Football,” he said.