RFYS initiative could help football regain its lost glory in Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 2 (IANS): Once the most-watched game here, football has lost most of its prominence over the years in the Valley. Thanks to the Reliance foundation youth sports (RFYS) initiative, this game could soon regain its lost glory among the locals.

"It is fantastic news for the youth teams. They have been training day in, day out, but the lack of competition was a big issue here.

"Now, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports has taken this fantastic initiative, and it is a positive sign for Kashmiri football. You will see that players will be able to judge themselves because of these competitions with match experience.

"This will help our younger generation to develop both mentally and physically for the matches," said Ishfaq Ahmed former coach of Kerala Blasters FC and current Head Coach of Real Kashmir FC.

Sajid Yousuf Dar, football coach in University of Kashmir said, "It is always great to win the tournament and get all the applause from the spectators, participants, because you are putting in hard work, so it is an amazing feeling for everyone.

"As far as the RFYS initiative is concerned, this is for the first time that they are here in Jammu & Kashmir and taking these kinds of initiatives.

"We were lacking them here and I thank RFYS for coming forward and collaborating in the education sector with the University of Kashmir.

"This is what we need and we need to put efforts together to take the football of Jammu & Kashmir to the next level".

RFYS recently conducted the U-21 category in collaboration with University of Kashmir and will now be conducting similar tournaments in the U-15 and U-19 categories for boys and girls.

In the first U-21 category tournament, University of Kashmir U-21 boys defeated their counterparts from the Govt. Degree College, Baramulla, by 11-10 in penalties after the summit clash at the TRC Ground in Srinagar went right down the wire to wrap up the inaugural football tournament of RFYS chapter in Kashmir on November 30.

There was no separating the two teams at the end of regulation time, with a goal from each end taking the match to spot kicks. Each of the first 10 players from both sides who stepped up to take the penalties converted their kicks, but the University of Kashmir boys edged past and secured the win by holding on to their nerves for just a little bit longer than the runners-up.



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