A total of 55 teams from all over the country will ply their trade in the AIFF U-16 Youth League which is slated to kick off tomorrow in Kolkata and Shillong simultaneously.
Youth teams from all I-League clubs and two teams from ISL clubs along with many an academy will be fielding their teams for the top honours across 10 zones.
The league, which commenced last season as the U-15 Youth League, has been refurbished as the U-16 Youth League keeping an eye on the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.
Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said the increase in the numbers highlights the "urge among the Clubs to perform".
"The numbers speak. 55 Teams are participating in the U-16 Youth League which is Indeed remarkable. It proves the urge among Clubs and Academies to prove their mettle," he said.
"I wish success to all the participating teams. The competition will be intense and may the best Team triumph," he added.
The teams from every zone will play on a home-away basis among themselves in the round robin stage and 16 teams will qualify to the National Final Round eventually. Those sixteen teams will be divided into four groups and the group champions will qualify for the semi-final which will be followed by the final to decide the U-16 Youth League 2016-17 champions.
Royal Wahingdoh FC will face Rangdajied United FC at the Mawlai Ground in the opener (September 24) while Mohammedan Sporting FC will lock their horns with United Sporting Club at the Mohammedan Sporting Ground the same day.
Minerva Academy FC, champions from the last edition have been clubbed with Youngsters Club, Lonestar Kashmir, Real Kashmir and J&K Bank.
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