THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Nike Premier Cup kicks off in Goa

Nike Premier Cup 2016 - India Finals

Today, 12 teams of young footballers began their competition in the Nike Premier Cup, an elite tournament that gives them an extraordinary chance to show their talents on a national stage.

Held in association with the All India Football Association (AIFF) in Goa, this select U-15 football tournament will take place through April 29, and provides a platform for young footballers to show their talent.

Nike Premier Cup includes the 12 best teams that qualified from the U-15 youth league organized by AIFF earlier this year. Thirty-nine clubs from across the country competed in the initial tournament to earn one of the spots for this year’s Nike Premier Cup.

The teams will be divided into three groups and the group matches will be held from April 18 to 23.The top team from each group and the second best team amongst all three groups will qualify for the semi-final round on April 26. The Nike Premier Cup finals will be held April 29, and the winning team will get a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.

“Nike Premier Cup provides an opportunity for the best young football talent in India to showcase their skills by competing on a national platform,” said Justin Burke, Marketing Head, Nike India Pvt Ltd. “In partnership with AIFF, we are proud to be able to give kids this opportunity.”

AIFF scouts will be on hand to witness the young players as they demonstrate their skills.

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said, “A platform of this stature does not only help youngsters to nurture their skills; it also gives them the necessary exposure and experience in order to succeed at a national and global level. Nike Premier Cup will help unearth young talent and we are absolutely delighted to be associated with Nike in this endeavour.”

United Sports Club embarked their journey today against Bengaluru FC and the match ended in a goalless draw at the Duler Ground. In the second match, Aizawl FC pummelled local club, Sporting Clube de Goa by 4-0. Tomorrow, Pune FC will clash their horns with Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Nagoa Ground, later SAI-Guwahati will challenge another Goan outfit Salgaocar FC. The matches will kick off at 9 am and 4 pm.