The colourful ceremony, which was witnessed by over 1200 school students, parents and football lovers in the city, showcased the technical prowess of the defence forces as well as the cultural skills of children.
The tournament, organised by Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society under the aegis of the Indian Air Force since 1960, has attracted a record 81 teams, nine more than last year's record.
The chief guest, Air Marshal HB Rajaram AVSM VSM, Air Officer in Charge Administration declared the tournament open and gave the traditional kick-off.
About 60 secondary school children lightened the entire stadium with their colourful dance renditions on the beats of bhangra music, while the Air Warriors Drill Team (AWDT) of the Indian Air Force displayed their co-ordination and skills.
AWDT are the elite Rifle Drill Team, one of its kind in the services and they treated the children to some breath taking rifle movements before the opening match between North Eastern English School, Manipur and MSP Higher Secondary School, Malappuram, Kerala.
The Manipur team dominated the entire match and won with the final score of 4-0.
The introduction of the girl's event has already seen improved response from the states as the number of teams has gone up to 19 this year from 16 last year. In the boy's u-14 category there are 30 teams this year, seven more from 2012.
The organisers have this year have gone one step ahead and are organizing the girl's U-17 final played under flood lights for the first time ever.
Ten best players from the tournament will also be picked to send to Europe for further training by the Platinum Sponsor of the tournament, Adidas.
Driven by the aim of promoting football at the grass-root level, the organisers also pick talented player from the tournament to form the 'Subroto Boys' group, which is given scholarship for education and football training.
In the 2012 edition, the trophy was lifted by Dynamo Kiev Football Club, the centre of attraction this year would be Ukrainian side Troeshchina.
The team of underprivileged children should start favourite after winning the UNICEF Football Cup in Spain earlier this year. The other five foreign teams would be from Oman, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
This year for the first time many states have registered entry for teams in all three categories.
The success of MSP Malappuram, who became the first team from Kerala to reach the final of the tournament last year, has encouraged schools from the costal state to send their teams in the u-14 boys and u-17 girls category.
This Prize Money for this year's tournament is 28,30,000/- INR.
The U-14 Boys and U-17 Girls Category, the winner will take home a purse of two lakh rupees each.
The U-17 winners will walk away with three lakh rupees prize money.
The best player adjudged in each category will be gifted a laptop.
All the finals will be telecast live on Doordarshan.
Highlights of the tournament
Inauguration ceremony: Sept 27
Total participation: 81 (nine up from last year's 72)
Participation in U-14 boys category: 30 (24 last year)
Participation in U-17 girls category: 19 (17 last year)
Participation in U-17 boys category: 32 (33 last year)
Foreign teams: Troeshchina (Ukraine), Indian School of Muscat (Oman), Bangladesh Krida Sikshan Pratisthan (Bangldesh) and Afghanistan
Participant Indian States after long Gap:
U-14 boys: Punjab, Car Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Chandigarh and Kerala
U-17 boys: Tripura, Punjab and Lakshadweep
U-17 girls: Punjab and Kerala
Finals: U-17 girls: October 17; U-14 boys: October 11; U-17 boys: October 19
--IBNS (Posted on 28-09-2013)