A group of 30 children cared for by four Calcutta-based NGOs ushered in the Bengali New Year with the excitement of football on the AstroTurf terrace of an AJC Bose Road highrise and the goal of a training stint at the German Football Academy. Kolkata Gives Bengal Tigers Football Championship, a five-a-side league on the sixth-floor terrace of Karnani Estate, will provide the winning team and the best players a chance to train under German coaches. The players will also receive a pair of studs each. “Talent scouts from ATK will assess the best players at the end of the tournament,” said Raghu Iyer, the chief executive officer of the Indian Super League’s Calcutta franchise. “Depending on the quality of the players, we will consider inducting them into our age-group teams.” The 82×53 feet AstroTurf venue of the tournament towers over the AJC Bose Road-Shakespeare Sarani crossing. There are nets all around to keep the ball from landing on the street. A shade above provides relief to the players from the blazing summer sun. The teams representing the four NGOs played against each other once on the opening day of the tournament. Two of them, Parivaar (Pari Warriors) and Calcutta Social Project (CSP Challengers, made it to the next round.Four more NGO teams will play next Sunday and two will make it to the next round. The semi-finals and final are scheduled for May.
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