SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Football Association and JK Sports Council in collaboration with Youth Service and Sports (YSS) are jointly organising the ‘Kashmir Invitation Cup’ starting today at TRC football ground here.
The tournament will be of knock-out basis with direct quarter finals to be played. All the game regulations will be followed as per the FIFA and AIFA standards.
Addressing the press conference here, Commissioner Secretary Youth Service and Sports (YSS), Sarmad Hafeez said sports infrastructure is being improved across J&K in order to inculcate sports enthusiasm among youth.
“We will be holding Pre-I league matches under ‘Kashmir Invitation Cup 2018’ in which 8 teams (4 local and 4 from other states) will be participating. The tournament will be jointly organized by JKFA & JKSSC at TRC football turf,” Hafeez said.
The 4 non local participating teams including Minerva Punjab FC (I-League champions), Bengaluru FC (ISL team), Delhi United FC and Sudeva FC, he said adding While that the 4 local teams include I-League qualifiers and 2-Divisions I-League champions Real Kashmir FC, Lone Star Kashmir FC, State Football Academy and J&K Bank FC.
“These matches will be Pre-I-League matches and in the month of November, we will host first-time host I-League matches in Kashmir,” he added.
Sarmad informed that under 44 crore project, Bakshi Stadium is currently being renovated and it is being exclusively converted into a football stadium.
“Stadium will be ready in March 2019, and it will be FIFA approved stadium,” he said. “We have been able to produce national and international level players because people have interest in playing football. Both Jammu & Kashmir State Sports Council (JKSSC) and J&K Football Association (JKFA) are working for promoting sports culture in the state.”.
“We are making efforts to produce best players in the valley as foreign couches are training youth,” Hafeez said.
Earlier, JKFA President Zameer Ahmad Thakur said it will be a good opportunity for our local teams to gain experience. Most of all 2-Division I-League champions are participating in the tournament, he said.