The eight-team Next Generation Cup features five Premier League club youth teams and one academy side from South Africa alongside Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC. The teams will be divided into two groups and play their first match on July 27 in London and the Midlands.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League and our clubs look forward to welcoming players from Bengaluru FC and the Kerala Blasters FC for the Next Generation Cup, the first time the youth development tournament has been held in the UK.”
“This event builds on our continued work with the Hero Indian Super League, to support the development and growth of football in India. It also provides a brilliant opportunity for young players from the Leagues to meet and compete against each other, learn about each other’s cultures and develop both on and off the pitch,” he added.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) Spokesperson said, “It gives us immense pleasure to see young Indian footballers gain international exposure and take their game to the next level. This will surely empower the emerging players to evolve as better footballers and lead the growth of football in the country.”
During the tournament, the Premier League and its clubs will also provide knowledge-sharing workshops to best support the ISL clubs involved. In addition, it will provide a chance for the young Indian footballers to experience playing in the UK and competing against academy sides from the most followed football league in the world.
Four Indian officials are also present in England, signalling the latest positive step of the Premier League and Professional Game Match Officials Limited’s (PGMOL) relationship with the Indian Super League (ISL) and All India Football Federation (AIFF). This comes as a result of an extensive period of collaboration which has also seen PGMOL deliver a number of referee development courses in India as part of the Premier League’s Premier Skills programme and wide-ranging support for match officials, their coaches, and observers.
Next Gen London (Group B): Tottenham Hotspur vs Kerala Blasters
Next Gen Midlands (Group A): Leicester City vs Bengaluru FC
Next Gen London (Group B): 3rd/4th place and final
Next Gen Midlands (Group A): 3rd/4th place and final
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