The Hero ISL Children’s League is India’s most engaging football grassroots development programme, which caters to children aged 6 to 12. The inaugural edition kicked off on November 23, 2019 and is running in ten districts across three states, i.e. West Bengal (Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia), Meghalaya (Shillong, Laitkseh) and Arunachal Pradesh (Itanagar, Pasighat).
The Children’s League is promoted by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL). It aims to encourage children to play football from a young age and revolutionise the sport to aide India in its’ effort to become one of Asia’s leading footballing nations.
To strengthen football grassroots development in the country, which will encompass the Under-6, Under-8, Under-10 and Under-12 age groups.
To engage 40,000 children under the 6, 8, 10 and 12-year age groups across 12 states over the next three years.
To develop a structured and competitive grassroots football ecosystem
To engage children through increased participation; greater volumes of matches and game time
To incentivize participation for young girls and ensure equal opportunities for both boys and girls
To establish a footballing environment that will enable young children to receive holistic development; creativity, self-expression and passion for the game in a safe environment
To give various Indian football stakeholders a platform for talent identification and scouting