‘Young Legends’ League’, the first U-12 League in India gets launched by Mizoram Football Association

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The Mizoram Football Association and the 8one Foundation have announced in collaboration the launch of the Young Legends’ League – a first-of-its-kind football league which will provide a platform for children aged below 12 years to play competitive football every weekend, paving the way for structured development. The league will also be aided by the AIFF.

The 5-a-side league will take place in Champhai. It will feature over 500 matches. with each team playing more than 30 games over a period of 6-8 months, making it the longest football league in India,

Every YLL team will have a squad consisting of seven players (including two substitutes), ensuring they get as much on-field exposure.

Lalnghinglova Hmar, Honorary Secretary of the Mizoram Football Association said, “The Young Legends’ League will look to provide competitive football matches to children below 12 years to hone their football acumen and skills. We intend to increase the time children spend with the ball as to inculcate both technical and social skills, which in my opinion is the best way to ensure holistic development of an individual. The MFA believes in giving exposure to young talent, steadily helping develop players by giving them a platform to showcase their skills.”

The MFA has signed a 10-years MoU with the 8one Foundation for the Young Legends; League, which will see both the parties organise YLL in Champhai till 2027.

Varun Achreja, Founder, 8one Foundation, said, “Our aim is to leverage YLL as a community mobilizing tool that ensures the involvement of everyone in Champhai to execute this league and contribute to the development of kids through football. The Initiative will emphasize on disseminating information related to education, nutrition, health as well as stress on the benefits of working collectively in a team.”

The All India Football Federation has lauded the work of MFA and 8one Foundation in strategizing such a concept. “It is encouraging to see that the Mizoram FA, 8one and Football Solutions are the first to work towards a sustainable and organic league that follow our Baby Legue concept to maximise competitive engagement through the year.”

“The ideal and philosophy for Champhai to now have a long-term, self-sustained and intensive youth calendar will speak for itself 6-8 years from today. The foundations for player development will be unshakable as they are addressing the birth and growth of a never seen before playing culture that only a genuine community-driven effort can deliver.”

“Starting the Pre-league Phase at 3-6 years of age will bring through another invaluable dimension to this structure that the AIFF will aid through customized coach education initiatives.” says Richard Hood, Head of Player Development at the AIFF.

The Young Legends’ League will be held at Chhangphut Ground, Champhai, staring from the 11th of November to 23rd July 2018. Each match will be played for a duration of 40-60 minutes with matches taking place on a weekly basis.

The YLL will have 12 teams which will all have under-8, under-10 and under 12 teams.Each team will play around 33 matches a season.

8one Foundation will provide funding for the league including complete kits for all teams. There will be man of the match awards for every match and substantial prizes will be given to champions of each league at the end of the season.