News9 launches football talent hunt for under-14 boys and girls, titled 'Indian Tigers & Tigresses'

TV9 Network has partnered with German institutions to showcase India's footballing potential at Delhi Public School in UP.

In a move to boost India’s football talent and provide a global pathway for young players, TV9 Network’s English news brand News9 today announced the launch of ‘Indian Tigers & Tigresses’ – the football talent hunt aimed at boys and girls below 14 years of age.

The occasion witnessed the participation of stalwarts of German football including Kay Dammholz, head of International Media at the German Football Association (DFB), Peter Leible from Bundesliga, Gerhard Riedl, CEO of Riespo in Austria, Julia Farr of Borussia Dortmund in Asia, Anselm Küchle from the International Football Institute in Germany, Philip Klöckl, CEO of Strykerlabs in Austria, and Valentina Putz, also from Strykerlabs.

The project aspires to identify, nurture, and showcase India’s top football talents under the age of 14, and has partnered with organisations like DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund), DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (Bundesliga), City of Gmunden, BVB Borussia Dortmund, the International Football Institute in Germany and Austria’s Riespo.

Commenting on this initiative, Barun Das, MD and CEO of TV9 Network said, “The News9 'Indian Tigers & Tigresses' initiative is a matter of great pride for us, as it takes football in a whole new direction in India. We envision a future where Indian footballers are given opportunities to be in the global spotlight akin to any of the major footballing nations in the West. This is also one of the pillars that need to be leveraged in India's ascendancy in the global head table. That starts by giving these players a level playing field, by making football a serious career option for these talented youngsters, and training them to be world-class players from a young age. This is not just about finding out what you are good at – it is about opening doors and lighting up thousands of dreams.”

The talent hunt will run April through July and will be amplified across TV9 Network platforms reaching an approximate audience of over 220 crore viewers nationwide. Moreover, TV9 Digital, which has over 100 million unique users, will promote the initiative across all its multi-lingual platforms including its YouTube channels.

“As we embark on this ground-breaking initiative, we stand at the crossroads of innovation and opportunity. Together, with our esteemed partners and the vibrant talent pool of India, we are poised to redefine the future of soccer,” said Peter Leible, senior advisor, Bundesliga.

Registration for the talent hunt will begin shortly, with European football scouts set to evaluate the entries. Selected candidates will undergo scouting at various venues across India by the end of June.

The journey continues with a Football Training Camp scheduled for July, where the most promising youngsters will hone their skills under expert guidance. The upcoming talent hunt is expected to receive an impressive 2 million applications from over 50,000 schools across India. From this large pool of candidates, a select few will be invited to participate in scouting sessions at various locations in India by the end of June.

Subsequently, a rigorous selection process in July and August will culminate in the selection of 20 players and 20 standbys who will travel to Austria and Germany for international exposure, including participation in friendly matches.

The culmination of this transformative initiative will be the felicitation of 40 winning boys and girls at Germany’s Supercup final on August 17, 2024. These budding football players—the Indian Tigers & Tigresses–will be honoured before an audience of 65,000 fervent fans from Europe and across the globe, marking a monumental milestone in their burgeoning careers.

The News9 ‘Indian Tigers & Tigresses’ talent hunt program promises to be a ray of hope and opportunity for young football enthusiasts across the nation, charting a new era in Indian football and inspiring generations to come.

afaqs! received this information is a press release.

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