Football Delhi: A Complete Revival of The Game in The Capital

19 players in the U-16 & 17 in U-19 categories have been selected to train at the Centre of Excellence for Girls.

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Football Delhi: A Complete Revival of The Game in The Capital

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Football in the capital is all set to undergo a major face-lift after the Delhi Soccer Association was renamed as Football Delhi in a ceremony last week.

Aimed at making the national capital a model football state in the country by 2021, newly-elected president Shaji Prabhakaran announced a slew of initiatives and tournaments to be started from this season.

The new body of office bearers, who got elected on 19 November 2017, includes a diverse group of individuals, encompassing local football as well global football, led by Shaji Prabhakaran, who has got more than 25 years of working experience and has also worked with FIFA for the World Cup.

For the first time in the history of the organisation, Football Delhi has also hired professional staff in different roles to overlook technical, marketing, strategy and finance.

Former General Manager Jet Airways Cargo division Edmund Jones has been roped in to serve as the first full-time professional General Secretary of Football Delhi. This is not Jones’ first time association with the game. He had founded the Royal Rangers Football Club in New Delhi in 1994.

On the dias from left: N K Bhatia (Treasurer, Football Delhi), Shaji Prabhakran (President, Football Delhi) and Jayashree Goyal (Head- CSR, Angelique International Limited)
(Photo: The Quint)

“Delhi Soccer Association, now called Football Delhi has entered into a new chapter in the development of the sport in the city. We want to make Delhi a model football state in the country by 2021,” Prabhakaran said.

Explaining the idea behind the new name and logo, the new chief said they wanted to infuse freshness and attract more youth.

“With the re-branding we want to show diversity and inclusiveness. As an organisation we want to advertise our professionalism and show people that we are ready to embrace new change and plan,” Prabhakaran told The Quint. “It will not be a mere talk but we will work tirelessly as a team and will achieve our objectives.”

Prabhakaran and Co have managed to bring on board Hero Motocop, COSCO, Angelique Foundation, Expereal and other partners for extending support to Football Delhi during this relaunch period.

“We would like involve more corporates into the set up so that they can bring in necessary funding and expertise to develop the game further,” Prabhakaran told The Quint.

The group of Under-16 girls posing with the football officials.
(Photo: The Quint)

Apart from the relaunch, it was also announced that Football Delhi will support a Centre of Excellence for Girls to be set up in one of the city schools this year. Angelique Foundation, the CSR arm of Angelique International Limited, has come forward to support the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Girls and a MoU will be signed in the next few days.

Nineteen players in U-16 and 17 in U-19 category have been selected to train at the CoE for Girls likely to be set up in one of the schools in New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area.

“One of our focus areas will be women's football and Centre of Excellence for Girls will serve that purpose which will provide the girls a pathway to play at the state team and eventually for the national team,” Prabhakaran told The Quint.

The group of Under-19 girls posing with the football officials.
(Photo: The Quint)

Along with a new name, the football body in the capital will now have a new address called FD House at Jangpura Extension in New Delhi from where Football Delhi will function. The old office at Ambedkar Stadium will now house the Coach and Referee Education Center, talks for which are on with the NDMC.

It was also announced that 3 August, the birthday of Delhi player and India captain Sunil Chhetri, would be celebrated as the Football Delhi Day every year.

“Sunil will be involved in his own way, at his own convenience since he is a professional and we don’t want to use him in a away that disturbs his schedule. But his involvement is surely there,” Prabhakaran told The Quint.

A detailed calendar for this year will be announced on 15 May after the approval of the Executive Committee.


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