KATHMANDU, May 25: Madhyapur Youth Association (MYA) is organizing the MYA Weekend Grassroots Home and Away Football League from Saturday.
The tournament that will run for eight months will feature 32 teams from 16 schools and football academies of Bhaktapur and Kathmandu.
Speaking at a press meet in the capital on Thursday, MYA's President Upendra Man Singh informed that as many as 480 players will take part in the competition which will include two age group events: junior (aged between 8 to10 years) and senior (11 to 13 years).
The tournament that will be played every Saturday at MYA's ground in Madhyapur, will feature teams from host MYA, Grassroots Football Academy, Everest English Academy, Aadarsha Janapremi Higher Secondary School, Nexus International Academy, Bhaktapur English School, Rajarshi Gurukul and Binayak Shiksha Niketan School.
Similarly the teams from Glad Stone Academy, Golden Stone Academy, Golden Sungava English School, Naulo Jyoti English School, Merry Gold English School, CVM School, Bhaktapur Nist School, Active English School and Om Gyan Mandir School also will take part in the competition.
Two teams including junior and senior from each of the participating team will compete in the tournament. According to Singh, MYA's ground will be divided into four parts where two schools' junior and senior teams will compete at a time in a day.
“As the ground will be divided into different parts, teams will play the matches in different pitches which will be assumed as home and away,” said Singh giving insight about the format of home and away.
Each team will have 15 players squad where the matches will be played in eight-a-side format with no-offside rule according to Singh. The total playing time of a match will be 60 minutes including three halves of 20 minutes each with players getting rest time for five minutes in each half.
Singh who is also a former captain of the national football team said that every club should run such grassroots program to lay a strong foundation of football in the country.
“Grassroots is very important for the nation's football development, not only All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) but every first-tier club of the country must operate such program,” said Singh, adding, "Proper system of grassroots football eventually helps national team in future so it has very big role in the football development.”
“As most of the kids these days in Kathmandu limit themselves to playing computer games, they do not seem interested in football, which may be because of the environment in which they are growing up- which is not a good sign. So through this program we also want to attract them toward football,” added Singh.
Meanwhile he also informed that MYA will bear up to Rs 100,000 for the treatment of the players getting injured during football with the support of Madhyapur Hospital.
“We had conducted football training camp for young players in the past but we found that kids are more interested on playing rather that just training so we came up with this idea of tournament,” further added Singh.
“One kid will have chance to play up to 30 matches in eight months so we are hopeful of nurturing young talents in this period,” concluded Singh.
The total budget of the event is Rs 1.4 million informed Singh.