J&K: Amid unrest, Soccer fever grips Valley; 54,000 youth register for tournament

Soccer fever has gripped strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir with more than 54,000 youth registering online for ‘Let’s Play Football’ tournament in the restive state.

The online registration, which concluded on November 15, saw 54,701 youth from all the 22 districts of the state registering for the mega Football Tournament since October 26. What was more heartening that 31% of youth comprised of girl players.

District Baramulla in North Kashmir has topped the list of the players registering for the event.  More than 6000 youth of the district have registered themselves online which was followed by border district of Rajouri with 4400 players signing online. 

Militancy hit district of Anantnag in south Kashmir came third with 3800 players registering online for the tourney.

Organized by the Department Of Youth Services and Sports under the aegis of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Let’s Play Football Tournament is all set to take off in Jammu and Kashmir with pomp and show.

“Let’s Play Football is the first of its kind tournament when Football lovers from every nook and corner of the state will get a chance of showcasing their untapped talent. Players will be encouraged further and facilitated properly”, said Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, Director Youth Services, and Sports, Jammu and Kashmir.

Fayaz appreciated the efforts of Sports Officers and their subordinate staff for making the registration processes a great success with such record number of registrations. “Collecting details about the interested youth and getting them registered online was not an easy task in hilly and far-flung districts of Kashmir and Jammu divisions”, he said.

The unprecedented response to the online registration comes at a time when thousands of people turned up to watch the 15th Police Martyrs Memorial Football-2017 tournament in Kashmir. The tournament was won by Jammu and Kashmir Police defeating Lone Star in a penalty shootout at Synthetic Turf TRC Ground Srinagar.

Director General of Police Dr. SP Vaid said Rs 1.8 crore has been allocated to different units of the police for organizing different tournaments including Cricket, Football, Water Sports, Wall climbing etc. “Police had remained at the forefront for channelizing the energy of youth through games in the state”, he said. 

DNA