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DU sports quota: Most applicants are footballers, cricket far behind

New Delhi: Cricket may give adrenaline rush to millions in India, but if Delhi University applications are anything to go by, football is the new rage. Among the applicants for undergraduate courses in DU colleges under the sports quota, football is the most sought after this year.

The university will begin sports trials from July 2 and most applicants are looking to make a mark through football, followed by athletics, basketball and volleyball. Cricket comes a distant fourth if one goes by the choice filled by DU applicants.

Delhi University officials said, "The surge in the popularity of football could be due to many reasons. Cricket's showpiece Indian Premier League (IPL) has spawned leagues in many other sports, and Indian Super League is one of the prominent ones."

Officials also attribute the growing number of football applicants, almost all of them who have just completed Class 12.

To organise FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 in India, All India Football Federation (AIFF), and Sports Authority of India (SAI) had taken few steps.

The official further added that in the last few years, AIFF and sports authorities have started a talent identification programme at the school level. Maybe that would have encouraged many students to opt footfall," official added.

He also said that in the last couple of years, AIFF and sports authorities have been running talent identification programmes at school level. That would have encouraged many students to take up football. Moreover, India has also been confirmed as the host of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2020.

Out of the 8,690 applications received under the sports quota, 1,578 are for football, 1,297 for athletics and 1,223 for basketball. There are 1,001 students who have applied for cricket.

"Students and parents prefer to take sports such as football and athletics as it involves physical work. In the last few years, our athletes have been getting medals and international recognition, which is encouraging for young students," said he added.

The official further added that the varsity want to encourage students to play sport out of love and not just for money. There are 24 colleges that take in students on football quota, 30 colleges offer admission for athletics and 42 for basket ball, and 31 colleges takes in cricketers.

The university reserves 5 per cent of seats under sports and extracurricular activities (ECA) quota with around 2700 seats available. The exact number reserved under sports as well as ECA heads is decided by individual colleges.

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