Andheri- Punjab, Maharashtra and West Bengal registered narrow wins to open their campaign in the National Inclusion Cup Championship for underprivileged children, organised by Slum Soccer that was kicked off by actor Siddharth Malhotra, at the Andheri Sports Complex on Monday.
Punjab beat Karnataka 4-3 and Maharashtra overcame Haryana 3-2 in Group B, while West Bengal beat Uttar Pradesh 4-3 in Group C. It was Maharashtra’s second win following a 7-4 win over Chattisgarh.
In Group A, Mumbai and Orissa began with a win and a loss each, while Jammu & Kashmir kicked off their campaign with an exciting 5-3 win over Uttarakhand in Group C.
Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa scored big wins in the women’s category.
Supporting the cause of empowering India's underprivileged youth through sports, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has partnered with the NGO 'Slum Soccer' for this CSR initiative. The National Inclusion Cup is the only national football tournament of its kind for underprivileged Indian youth.
On the occassion Siddhart Malhotra said "Everyone is equal in sport irrespective of your background. I truly believe in Nelson Mandela's saying that 'Sports has the power to change the world'. This is a very exciting and empowering initiative and I really hope that our Slum Soccer team wins the world cup for us and makes India proud."
Once the tournament in India concludes, the final selected teams comprising of 8 men and 8 women players each, will represent India at the 15th Homeless World Cup in Oslo, Norway from August 29 to September 5, 2017.