Nike kicked off its annual grassroots football initiative, the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) on Monday, January 13 in New Delhi. Some of the best Under 15 I-league, state and academy teams will compete for the chance to represent India in the regional finals in Thailand this June.
Nike’s MUPC tournament, held in India with the backing of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), has become a platform to discover young talent who now represent the country at various levels.
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 from January 19. The MUPC India finals 2014 will also be held in Pune on January 24.
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 U-15 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”.