Reserve squads of Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC have arrived in the United Kingdom to participate in the Next Generation Cup, 2022, organized by the Premier League. The tournament is part of a long-standing partnership between the Premier League and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) to support the growth of football in India. Youth squads from two Indian Super League clubs qualified to compete in the international tournament by virtue of finishing in the top two in the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) held earlier this year.
The eight-team Next Generation Cup will feature five Premier League club youth teams and a South African academy side Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC. The teams will be divided into two groups and will play their first match on 27 July in London and the Midlands.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League and our clubs look forward to welcoming players from Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC for the Next Generation Cup, the first time a youth development tournament has been held in the UK. “
“The event builds on our continued work with the Hero Indian Super League to support the growth and development of football in India. It allows the young players of the league to meet and compete, learn about each other. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for cultures to grow and develop both on and off the pitch,” he added.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) Spokesperson said, “We are delighted to see young Indian footballers achieving international exposure and taking their game to the next level. To grow and lead the development in football in the country.”
During the tournament, the Premier League and its clubs will also provide knowledge-sharing workshops to best support ISL clubs. In addition, it will provide young Indian footballers a chance to experience playing in the UK and compete against academy sides from the most followed football league in the world.
Four Indian officials are also present in England, indicating the latest positive move in the Premier League and Professional Game Match Officers Limited (PGMOL)’s relationship with the Indian Super League (ISL) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF). This comes as a result of an extensive period of collaboration, which has provided PGMOL with a number of referee development courses in India as part of the Premier League’s Premier Skills program and has provided extensive support for match officials, their coaches and supervisors.
Next Gen London (Group B): Tottenham Hotspur vs Kerala Blasters
Next Gen Midlands (Group A): Leicester City vs Bengaluru FC
Next Gen London (Group B): 3rd/4th place and final
Next Gen Midlands (Group A): 3rd/4th place and final
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