IFA Shield 2018: Fixtures announced, defending champions Pune City begin campaign against East Bengal

FC Pune City lifting the IFA Shield (Credit: Xtratime)
FC Pune City lifting the IFA Shield (Credit: Xtratime)

What's the story?

The fixtures for the latest edition of the prestigious youth competition IFA Shield have been announced, with champions Pune city going up against East Bengal in the opening match. The tournament will feature eight sides and is expected to run for two weeks.

In case you didn't know...

The IFA Shield is one of the oldest footballing competition around. It was started in 1893 by the British government and will be completing it's 125 year anniversary this year.

In the starting, the IFA Shield was dominated by the British sides. However, their dominance over the shield was broken by Mohun Bagan, thus achieving the status of being the first Indian club to win the trophy.

The IFA Shield was turned to a U-19 competition in 2015.

Heart of the matter

Reigning champions FC Pune City have been drawn alongside East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting Club, and ATK as they begin their quest to retain the IFA Shield.

The 122nd edition of the IFA Shield will also feature Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, and TATA Football Academy in Group B, where they will be joined by another team via the qualifiers.

The eight youth sides will go up against each other, starting from July 4. Four teams will then qualify for the Semifinal, which will be played on July 15 and July 16.

The Final of the 2018 IFA Shield will take place on July 19.

What's next?

Pune City won the prestigious youth competition last time around. However, they will have to face tough competition if they wish to do the same. They will face East Bengal in their first match.

The tournament will run on for up to two weeks, starting on July 4. The final will be played on July 19.

Which team will lift the prestigious trophy this time around? Do let us know in the comments below.

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Edited by Sagnik Kundu
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