Meghalaya State League Season 3 scheduled to be held in October
By Our Reporter
Shillong, June 25: The Meghalaya Football Association (MFA) announced that the third edition of the Meghalaya State League (MSL) will kick-off in October, bringing together the top clubs from around the state.
Affiliated Associations will be required to complete their respective leagues by the 30th of September 2022.
The MFA further announced the launch of the new MFA Youth Leagues for U-13, U-15, and U-17 youth clubs, the winners of which will represent the state at All India Football Federation tournaments.
Present at the press conference were Wanshan Kharkrang, tournament director of the MSL, Sunesh Syiem, tournament director of the MYL, Dr Lumbor Mawsor, member of the MSL and MYL organising committees, and Arki Nongrum, assistant tournament director of the MSL and MYL.
The MSL combines champion clubs from all tournaments run by affiliated associations in a statewide league the likes of which had never been seen before until the MFA took the initiative in 2017-18.
The MSL has given affiliated associations an opportunity to gain experience of hosting the state’s top league with matches having been held in Garo Hills, Ri-Bhoi, Jaintia Hills and South West Khasi Hills.
The MFA has decided to introduce Venue Bidding this season where venues will be selected upon fulfilment of the criteria set by the MFA.
MSL has created a financial ecosystem for clubs where they will receive a fixed transport subsidy, share of revenue from tickets and prize money.
Meghalaya Youth Leagues
Meanwhile, the MFA also announced the beginning of another of its long-held dreams – the beginning of a statewide system of Youth Leagues.
The new Youth Leagues will be of three age categories: U-13, U-15 and U-17 giving Meghalaya a unique football structure in the country.
Meghalaya was the first State in India to organise Golden Baby Leagues for children under 12, a revolutionary project eagerly adopted by the MFA in 2018 with the support of Tata Trusts and the Government of Meghalaya.
The MFA Youth Leagues give the Golden Baby League players an outlet to continue their growth in the sport and will act as a bridge for them to graduate to district leagues, the MSL and then on to the I-League and Indian Super League as well.
The Youth League will be inducted into the CRS and CMS of the All India Football Association (AIFF) to achieve the goal of professionalising the football ecosystem in the State and reduce the possibility of age fraud.
The MFA aims to keep the conveyor belt of talent going and the logical step is to give players, coaches and scouts the opportunity to identify and mentor young footballers as they progress up the ladder from the Golden Baby Leagues and into the sub-junior and junior levels, thereby giving Meghalaya a surer footing on the national stage.