The talent-scouting Stairs School Football League (SSFL) was today launched in Varanasi in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh.
The objective of SSFL-Uttar Pradesh is to identify, support and nurture football talent in the most populous state of India.
"We will initially operate in two regions - Gorakhpur and Varanasi - which will consist of eights districts of Chandauli, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Deoria, Kushinagar and Gorakhpur," said founder and secretary general of STAIRS, Siddhartha Upadhyay.
In the first phase, 160 teams of under-17 age group from these two regions will compete.
In phase II, the winner teams will compete representing their respective districts.
Last year, under the aegis of Uflex SSFL-3 held in Gujarat and Delhi, more than 35,000 children from 2,000 schools competed in 4,000 matches. Former Sri Lankan explosive batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was the brand ambassador of the FIFA-format tournament.
General Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh, Mohd. Shamsuddin, said, "We are glad to be associated with SSFL as this will provide valuable opportunities to youth and children at the grassroots level."
The SSFL aims to become one of the most important sporting events and 'talent spotting' platform in the country.
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