Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Former England footballer David James gave a pleasant surprise to the young participants of The National Inclusion Cup by showing up at the tournament to encourage and motivate the youth.
The event has 48 teams participating from 24 different states and it includes two teams from Nepal.
The custodian who made over 50 appearances for England, visited the ongoing tournament and shared his experiences with the youth. The 47-year-old was thoroughly impressed with the talent he saw there, according to a release.
“I have been involved with similar organisations in England and have donated loads of kits to charity to help the homeless football players there. These organisations do exactly what Slum Soccer is doing here to represent the country at Homeless World Cup,” said James.
“I think football is such a tool for peace, for uniting people, and the (Homeless) World Cup can be an aim or target but what happens at the grassroots, to the people who don’t make it there is what these organisations are defined by. Those who don’t make it to Homeless World Cup would have improved socially, made personal development, added more vocational skills which they wouldn’t be getting if football wasn’t involved,” explained James.
“So when I came down I wasn’t sure of what I was going to see but I am thoroughly impressed with the organisation and the enjoyment of the players.” said James of his first experience of Slum Soccer.
The four-day tournament, being held in Mumbai for the second consecutive year, commenced on Tuesday with teams from Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Assam, Manipur & Nepal.
The National Inclusion Cup 2018 is a CSR initiative of Sony Pictures Networks India.