The Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society (SMSES), organiser of the 61st edition of the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament formally unveiled the Trophy, Kits, Official ball at the curtain-raiser at Akash Air Force Officer’s Mess at New Delhi.
Air Marshal K Anantharaman VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration and Vice Chairman, SMSES, attended the occasion as chief guest while former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, was the guest of honour. Air Marshal RK Anand Directorate General (Administration) and Member Subroto Society were also present during the occasion.
The Subroto Cup, an annual schools football tournament first started in 1960 by Indian Air Force Chief, Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. With Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament was not held for two years. This year a total of 92 schools representing 25 States and Union Territories of India have qualified across the three categories and a team from Bangladesh will also be participating.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal K Anantharaman, VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration and Vice Chairman SMSES said, “We are delighted to be back with the Subroto Cup which is the most prestigious inter-school tournament in the country. This tournament will provide a platform for the kids to pursue a professional career in football and SMSES along with Indian Air Force will ensure that no stone is left unturned in the smooth conduct of the tournament.”
Former Indian captain and Guest of Honour of the event, Mr Bhaichung Bhutia commented, “I had started my football journey by playing in the Subroto Cup and it is an honour for me to be invited as the Guest of Honour for the same tournament. The kids will receive very good exposure by competing against some of the top school teams in the country and I hope that many future Indian players come out from this tournament.”
The tournament will be conducted in three categories including Sub Junior Boys (Under 14) from September 6-15 followed by Junior Girls (Under 17) from September 19-28 and finally the Junior Boys (Under 17) starting October 3 with the finals slated for October 22. The tournament will be held in four venues including Dr. BR Ambedkar Stadium (Delhi Gate), Tejas Football Ground (Race Course), Subroto Park and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
A total prize money in excess of INR 23,00,000 has been set aside across the three categories for the winners and the runners-up. This includes a winning prize of INR 3,50,000 for the Junior Boys and Junior Girls as well as INR 2,50,000 for the Sub Junior Boys winning team. Other cash prizes include those for the losing Semi-finalists, Quarter finalists, Fair Play, Best Player, Best Goalkeeper, Best Coach and Best School.