Sports is an emotion in India, where different parts of the country possess a different kind of affection towards a particular sport. Football has started gaining its popularity in the country and now possesses a very special place in people’s heart. Though ISL and I-league are making their presence felt by investing a lot of time and money, there are some tournaments which are not known to many people but are contributing to the sport immensely.
Today, we’ll tell you about a football tournament where 9,000 tribal kids participated in it’s inaugural season. The SDC Cup is a local football tournament which inaugurated in 2020. Thousands of tribal kids, who are not from well-to-do families got the opportunity to entice people with the skills they had and make a name for themselves with it.
This tournament was not only for boys but also young girls who really have got the quality. A total of 9 districts from Odisha came with their teams and participated in this prestigious tournament, which included a total of 9,000 players. Sundargarh (a district in Odisha) won both, the men’s and the women’s tournament which was a surprise for everyone because they were considered to be the underdogs in the tournament. The runners up in the men’s edition were Baripada whereas the runners up in the women’s edition were Rairangpur.
The champions in both the edition of the tournament were awarded with 2,00,000 rupees cash, a trophy and medals whereas the runners up were awarded with 1,00,000 rupees cash, a runners-up trophy and silver medals. The best player of tournament was well recognised and was awarded with 20,000 rupees for thier splendid performance throughout the tournament.
Every participating team gave a very tough time to all their opponents and it was an absolute treat for all the fans watching this prestigious tournament live in the stadiums. If reports are to be believed, the average attendance in every match was around 12,000+ and the final match which was played in the Barabati Stadium had almost 20,000 people in attendance. The special guest who were invited to observe and enjoy the final match were the Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia and also the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik.
The man behind all the success of this tournament was Shri Sujeet Kumar, who is currently also a renowned politician in Odisha. This tournament was very closely supervised by the FAO (Football Association Of Odisha) and is also a recognised tournament by the AIFF (All India Football Federation). Both the footballing bodies made this tournament run very smoothly and also proffesionaly, which sometimes lacks in most of the local football tournaments held in India.
Odisha has surely started working on developing themselves as a football loving state and it would be very fair to say that their efforts are helping Indian Football grow rapidly. India needs more local football tournaments like SDC Cup where local kids who have the willingness to play are given a chance to showcase their skills. We would like to congratulate SDC Cup for such a great inaugural season and we hope they would continue to put their efforts into making this a grand event every year.