Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters are set to face off against PL teams during the Next Gen Cup in the UK. The tournament is the product of a long-standing partnership between the Premier League and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) to accelerate the development of the sport in India. Both teams qualified after finishing top of the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) this year. The tournament will include five Premier League teams, two ISL teams, and one South African academy.
“The Premier League and our clubs look forward to welcoming players from Bengaluru FC and the Kerala Blasters FC for the Next Gen 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 (ISL), to support the development and growth of football in India,” Premier League Chief executive Richard Masters said. “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. I hope everyone taking part in the Cup at Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur’s first-team training facilities enjoys their experience and benefits from their involvement.”
“We’ve enjoyed a beneficial and productive partnership with the Hero Indian Super League and the AIFF for a number of years now, with a strong focus on coaching and training their match officials both on and off the field,” PGMOL managing director Mike Riley said. “There’s been some fantastic progress made during that time and it is a pleasure to see that continue as we welcome four talented referees to the Next Generation Cup. I hope that they enjoy the experience and benefit from what promises to be a great tournament.”