Football Delhi to launch all-India tournament with top clubs next year

Football Delhi has decided to launch an annual all-India tournament with I-League and Indian Super League clubs taking part in it.

Four ISL/I-League clubs will be invited to play in an eight-team league-cum-knockout competition.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The national capital’s football governing body has decided to launch an annual all-India tournament with I-League and Indian Super League clubs taking part in it.

In the Executive Committee meeting held on Thursday, Football Delhi took the decision to launch the Capital Cup with an aim to “make the city a vibrant football destination as it was during the heydays of Durand Cup and DCM“.

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Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran told PTI that his organisation is targeting the early part of next year to launch the tournament as the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to “permit” a big tournament with spectators this year.

“Without crowd this tournament will have no meaning and the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to permit any tournament with big crowd to happen this year. So, we are looking at early next year before the end of the season,” Prabhakaran said.

“So, it is not that we want to stage the tournament in the next few months. But once the tournament is launched, it will be an annual affair,” he added.

Football Delhi will request the All India Football Federation to grant appropriate window to hold the all-India tournament in Delhi where minimum four ISL/I-League clubs will be invited to play in an eight-team league-cum-knockout competition.

“In order to promote local clubs, four clubs from Delhi will join the tournament,” Football Delhi said in a release.

Football Delhi will also request the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the state government to become key stakeholders in making the tournament a regular feature of India’s capital city.

“Through Capital Cup we would like to energise local football and connect football fans with an inspiring football tournament where the best clubs and players would be seen in action,” Prabhakaran said.

“It is our attempt to add another initiative to make Delhi a vibrant football city. Delhi’s Dr Ambedkar Stadium is one Stadium which has seen all the greats in action and the strong legacy of this stadium and city have to be revived with the Capital Cup.”

The Executive Committee also decided to approve the launch of a Digital Hub to connect and engage with the football community and stakeholders in the city.

Digital Hub will comprise different digital platforms, live TV, digital campaign, e-sports, e-learning, web series, among others. It will be launched in partnership with a corporate house.

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