All India Football Federation (AIFF), on Thursday announced the commencement of the Men's National Football Championship (NFC) for Under 20. The newest age competition in AIFF's calendar for the year 2023-24 will start in April and be known as 'Swami Vivekananda U20 National Football Championship'. The championship will be held at the sprawling Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama in Narainpur, Chhattisgarh having an in-house full-fledged football pitch, training facilities and residential area. Santosh Trophy 2024: Manipur, Delhi, Railways Secure Quarterfinals Berths; Mizoram, Maharashtra, Karnataka Still in Hunt.

Following the discontinuation of the U21 competition during covid, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey, last July, expressed the urgent need to restart the competition in the senior boys' category to fill in the existing void at this level.

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"I'm pleased to see the Under 20 NFC competition been brought back into our football calendar this year, thus bridging a wide gap which was in existence last few years in our youth structure pyramid between U17 Youth League to Santosh Trophy," Kalyan Chaubey said as quoted from AIFF.

"We felt the need to have the competition in Under 20, to put the building blocks in place for our footballers' gradual progression into senior competitions and to create a pipeline for Asian Games U23 selection. The U20 group competition is very crucial in a player's life cycle to step into professional career. With the U20 competition back in recognition, the youth structure slabs from Sub Junior to Santosh Trophy gets completed," he added. ISL 2023–24: Princeton Rebello’s Winner Hands Odisha FC 2-1 Win Over East Bengal.

As a next step, AIFF will invite all its State member associations to participate in the U20 NFC.

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