Coca-Cola announces football talent hunt

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Mumbai, Apr 25 (UNI) Coca-Cola today announced the launch of the 'Coca-Cola Football Champs', a talent hunt initiative it grassroots level, to discover promising young footballers in the country.

The talent hunt, targeting 3,000 young footballers will span across eight cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Goa, Chennai, Bangalore and Cochin. Inter school tournaments will be organised in these cities and the winning teams from the eight participating cities would play against each other.

As part of the initiative, 16 young talented footballers, identified from within the tournament would be selected to train at a week-long Coca-Cola Football Camp in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from July 7 to 12, a release issued here stated.

Coca-Cola India President and CEO Atul Singh said, ''Coca-Cola India has always believed in promoting a healthy, active lifestyle through sports. Now, with the launch of the Coca-Cola Football Champs initiative, we have further demonstrated our intent to promote healthy active living. The thought is to also discover and encourage grass root football talent in India and to make sports a way of life in the country.'' Coca-Cola Football Champs programme is open to all young footballers in the age group of 12- 15 years. Each participating school is required to nominate sixteen players.

The matches would be conducted in a round-robin format between the participating schools, which would be clubbed into pools. The winning schools from each pool would then play against each other where the city winners would be selected. A neutral referee would supervise each match. All matches would be of 50 minutes duration - two halves of 20 minutes each with a 10 minute break. In the event of a draw, winners would be decided based on penalty kicks, the release further stated.

The winning teams from the eight participating cities would play against each other and eventually two teams would enter the finals that would be played here, in the second week of May.

Selectors would be present during the final matches to identify 16 promising players. The camp in Rio De Janerio, is being organized in partnership with Brazilian Football Academy (BFA). At the camp, 312 children from 26 countries including India would be trained in football skills, the release added.

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