RKFC v/s Delhi United to open Kashmir Invitation Cup 2018 today
Srinagar, Oct 16: Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, on Tuesday praised the homegrown Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) for becoming the first from the state to qualify I-league first division.
Addressing a press conference here, the Secretary said, “I-league is the number one football league in the country, and it is not easy to qualify it. But RKFC has done it.”
He said that Kashmir was “suited” for football due to the environment and the dietary habit of the people.
“The whole sports body is promoting this sport as this game has been most liked and admired in Jammu and Kashmir,” Hafeez said.
He announced the ‘Kashmir Invitation Cup 2018’ that is going to be played from October 17 to 23 at the TRC astro turf football stadium.
Eight teams, including four from outside the state, are going to participate in the event.
On October 17 afternoon, the first quarter final will be played between Real Kashmir FC and Delhi United FC.
Second quarter final will be played on October 18 between Minerava FC and J&K Bank FC.
Third quarter final will be played on October 19 between Bangalure FC and LoneStar KFC, while the last one will be on October 20 between Sudeva FC and State Football Academy.
“I am only here to provide all possible help whatever is in our control to promote this sport. Football is the number one sport in Kashmir,” Hazeef said.
He said Kashmir has not only produced national level players but also produced players at international levels because Kashmir from the very beginning has shown much interest in this sport that is why government is taking every possible step to enhance this game.
He said that government is in a process to improve the infrastructure not only for football but for other sports activities in the valley.
He said Bakhshi Stadium was being renovated into a FIFA approved football stadium with an expenditure of Rs 44-crore.
“We hope it will be ready for use in March,” he said. “Steps are being taken to provide support, avenues to various associations and clubs so as we can produce champions by providing proper training with proper methodology and serve inspirations for our youth.”