Source: Business Wire India
Nike today kicked off the ninth edition in India of its annual grassroots football initiative, the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC). At this year’s MUPC, some of the best U15 I-league, state and academy teams will compete for a chance to represent the country in the regional finals in Thailand this June.
Nike’s annual MUPC tournament, held in India under the aegis of the All India Football Federation, has become a platform to discover young talent who now represent the country at various levels. After nine years in India, MUPC is now part of the dreams of many young footballers across the length and breadth of the nation.
This year, the U-15 tournament will be held in three stages. Teams from the North and East zones of India will battle it out in Delhi between January 15-18, while the teams from the West and South zones will compete in Pune starting January 19. The MUPC India finals 2014 will also be held in Pune on January 24, 2014.
Speaking on the occasion, Keerthana Ramakrishnan, Communications Head, Nike India Pvt. Ltd.said, “We are delighted to return with India’s ninth edition of the Manchester United Premier Cup, a grassroots initiative solely designed to unearth the best young talents across the world. Nike’s MUPC is today an authentic and anticipated U15 tournament even in India. We are thankful to the AIFF for their unwavering support in growing MUPC through the years. We wish all the players good luck for their first step to the theatre of dreams.”
MUPC has provided young footballers in India with an opportunity to compete on an international stage, bridging language and cultural barriers through the sport. The tournament promises an extraordinary level of competition, training and opportunities for young Indian footballers to elevate their game.
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF said, “Nike’s MUPC is a great initiative to help build the sport at the grassroots level and over the years, this has become one of the finest U15 tournaments in our country. This tournament assumes further importance as it becomes one of the key platforms to identify and nurture some of the best young footballers in the country”.
MANCHESTER UNITED PREMIER CUP
The Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) has come of age. A regional youth tournament launched by Nike in 1993 with just 624 teams has evolved into the ultimate global football experience for u-15 footballers around the world.
Over the last 21 years, more than a million young hopefuls have been inspired to play the game they love with passion, and test both their skills and their ambition against the very best of their peers.
Early Premier Cup graduates now playing at the highest level for club and country include: Manchester United’s ‘Chicharito’, Javier Hernandez; Jack Wilshere, (Arsenal); Fernando Torres, (Chelsea); Gérard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), and Robinho (Milan).
8,000+ teams from grassroots clubs – to the some of the biggest names in football – are fighting their way through local, regional and national tournaments for one of only 20 available places in Manchester this summer.
For aspiring young footballers from over forty countries, the best experience of their young lives is within reach.
MUPC, the future of football, today.