Encourage participation & more competitive game time for U21 players, given the current number of limited competitive matches for younger players

Allow youth coaches of academies to showcase their skill set in an elite competition setup

Build a platform for U-21 players to attract the attention of various domestic clubs

Key highlights

Largest national tournament for U-21 footballers, across Hero ISL + I-League division I&II + youth academy & club teams

Opportunity for increased game time with potential to eventually face international clubs and players

Upskill participating coaches and introduce crucial safeguarding elements for elite youth football in India by working with International partners to deliver coaching programs and welfare & safeguarding workshops


Reliance Foundation Development League

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Teams from the ISL, I- League I & II, Clubs and youth academies will all be eligible to enter this season’s RF Development League. With the expansion of this year’s edition, an U21 team qualifying for the National Championship, will get the opportunity to compete in close to 20 games, giving our future footballing talent exposure to the largest scouting platform in Indian football.

For this season, the RFDL will be expanding from last year’s centralised format and now feature over 350 competitive games delivered in 3 phases:

Phase 1

Regional Qualifiers - The Regional Qualifiers will see over 250+ matches being played across 9 regions

Phase 2

National Group Stages - the top 20 teams from the regional qualifiers will compete in the Group stage

Phase 3

National Championship Stage - the top 4 teams from the nationals will compete in the Group stage