CHANDIGARH, AUG 31 :Defending champions Services XI (group C), runners-up New Public School Academy, Sector 18, Chandigarh, (group D), Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (group B), Mahindra and Mahindra of Mumbai (group B) and Mizoram SSA Football XI (group C)
Have pulled out of the 6th Administrator’s Challenge Cup All-India Football Tournament for Under-17 being conducted by the Chandigarh Sports Department here from tomorrow with a group A match between state-run Chandigarh Football Academy and Steadfast Sports Academy of Mumbai at the Sector 17 Football Stadium at 4 p.m.
On withdrawal of teams at the last moment, Chandigarh Sports Director-cum-Additional Deputy Commissioner Inderjit Singh Sandhu said that teams from Mizoram, Services and Jammu and Kashmir would not be able to take part in the sixth edition of the tournament due to ‘disturbed conditions’ in their states. New Public School Academy had sent their entries but have not confirmed it. Mahindra and Mahindra were making their debut in the tournament.
"Despite withdrawal of five teams, 16 teams are still in the fray for the prestigious under-17 tournament. 16 is a good number. We are providing a platform to the young players to show their skills," said Sandhu.
"From next year, we are planning to make it more attractive by introducing prize money for the winning teams. It will be a sort of further incentive the Chandigarh Sports Department would be giving to the future footballers of the country," declared the Sports Director.
A managers’ meeting, under the chairmanship of District Sports Officer JS Negi, was held this evening at the Sector 42 Sports Complex. Match Commissioner Rakesh Bakshi, who is also secretary of the Chandigarh Football Association and Referees’ Inspectors IP Nagi and Amrik Singh also attended the meeting.
Bakshi clarified that the duration of the match would be 45-15-45 minutes. On the demand of the managers, it was decided to provide balls, which would be used in the tournament, for practice.
The schedule of the tournament stands despite withdrawal of five teams. Walkover will be awarded to their opponents.
Meanwhile, 28 players have been sent to the Sector 16 Government Hospital for medical examination to determine their age. Nine Orissa Football Association, who are in group A along with Chandigarh Football Academy, have undergo medical tests (x-ray).
Seven players of Mohun Bagan, four from Himachal Pradesh, three from Steadfast Sports Academy (Mumbai), one from Indian Football Association (West Bengal), two each from Tamil Nadu Football Association and hosts Chandigarh Football Academy were also sent for medical examination. X-ray reports are yet to be received.