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Orissa to host 66th Santosh Trophy

Orissa (now called Odisha) will be the hosts of the 66th edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy. The inter-state tournament will be played from May 11 to 27 in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Bargarh across the state o...

Orissa (now called Odisha) will be the hosts of the 66th edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy. The inter-state tournament will be played from May 11 to 27 in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Bargarh across the state of Orissa.

In total 34 state and institutional sides will be seen in action. 25 of those teams will be playing in the preliminary round cluster stage with only the top team from each of the seven Clusters moving into the quarterfinal league stage. There last years eight quarterfinalists plus hosts Orissa await the seven qualifiers and will be split into four groups of four teams each. Only the group winners qualify for the semifinals.

The Cluster round matches would be played from May 11 to 16 with the quarterfinal round games scheduled from May 18 to 23. Both the semifinals would be played on May 25, while the final has been slated for May 27.

Last time around in May 2011 record champions West Bengal had won their 31st title in Guwahati, Assam with a 2-1 final victory against Manipur.

GROUPINGS

Preliminary Round – Cluster Stage

Cluster-I: Jharkhand, Delhi, Andaman, Gujarat
Cluster-II: Kerala, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh
Cluster-III: Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Pondicherry
Cluster-IV: Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra
Cluster-V: Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland
Cluster-VI: Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Rajasthan
Cluster-VII: Haryana, Sikkim, Assam, Daman & Diu

Quarterfinal League – Group Stage:

Group-A: Bengal, Punjab, Cluster-II winner, Cluster-IV winner
Group-B: Manipur, Goa, Cluster-III winner, Cluster-V winner
Group-C: Services, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Cluster-VII winner
Group-D: Railways, Tamil Nadu, Cluster-I winner, Cluster-VI winner

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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