Shillong, Dec 21: The Meghalaya government has appeared to give its nod to an U-15 Meghalaya State League (MSL), which will be held sometime next year.
This was not explicitly revealed by Sports & Youth Affairs Commissioner & Secretary Peter Dkhar yesterday at the closing function here of the Meghalaya Baby League, but has since been confirmed to TSR by a well-placed source.
Two days ago the Meghalaya Football Association said that it was still waiting for a response from the state government to its proposal to hold the second edition of the MSL.
We’ve been hearing of the possibility of an U-15 MSL for some time now, but yesterday’s comments by Dkhar where he said that he was looking forward to an U-15 tournament were the first hint at it becoming a reality.
With Tata Trusts also announcing yesterday that it will continue to fund the Baby League next year, an U-15 MSL fits in nicely with giving children who are too old to play in the Baby League (where the maximum age is 13) a way to further develop as budding footballers.
Our source also said that there are discussions on having an U-18 MSL, perhaps with a maximum of three players per team who are not subject to the age restriction, which would be similar to the Olympic Games where football teams in the men’s competition are composed of U-23 players with three allowed to be older.
Meanwhile a women’s league for the state is also being discussed, which would be a good step, as after the school level there isn’t really any platform for women to develop as footballers in Meghalaya.
It could also spur interest in football clubs putting together women’s teams; even though Shillong hosted the final round of the Indian Women’s League earlier this year there was no club from Meghalaya that took part.