The 61st edition of the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament began after a gap of two years with a glittering opening ceremony at the B.R Ambedkar stadium here on Tuesday.
The tournament, organised by the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society (SMSES) along with the Indian Air Force, witnessed a glittering opening ceremony in the presence of Chief Guest Air Marshal K. Anantharaman, VSM, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration and Vice Chairman, (SMSES), kicked-off the first match in the Under-14 Boys category between National Cadet Corps (NCC) and Govt. Model HSS, Sector 36, Chandigarh which finished in a goalless draw.
Also present on the occasion were Commonwealth Games 2022 medal winners in weightlifting, Junior Warrant Officers Vikas Thakur and Gururaja Poojary.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal K. Anantharaman, VSM, Honorary, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration and Vice Chairman, SMSES, said, “The legacy of the Subroto Cup is worth its weight in gold and it represents the need for children to be involved in sport and physical activities as much as studies, during these crucial formative years of their lives.
“Our champion athletes and Guest of Honour Vikas Thakur and Gururaja Poojary are the best examples of what sporting excellence can achieve. I wish all the participating teams all the very best and hope to see a confluence of young sporting talent compete ferociously, but with sporting spirit and discipline, something which sport imbibes in you for life.”
Air Marshal Anantharaman, also felicitated the Guests of Honour for their Commonwealth Games performance on the occasion.
The opening ceremony also saw an eye-catching Rifle (.303, 5.5kgs) juggling performance by the Air Warrior Drill Team (AWDT) and a cultural programme involving school children of the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute, Subroto Park. Before the kick-off, the oath of fair play was also administered to the teams and a wonderful Air Force Band enthralled the spectators during half-time.
In all 15 matches will be played on Wednesday across four stadiums — B.R Ambedkar, Tejas Park, Subroto Park and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. There are 32 teams divided into eight groups in the Boys U-14 category. The topper in each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.