New Delhi: The 64th National Football
Championship for the Santosh Trophy 2009-10 will be held in
Kolkata from July 15 to August 8 without some of the country`s
top players in action.
Thirty national team players will not take part in the
tournament as they will start training next month for the
Asian Cup to be held in Doha, Qatar from January 7-29 next
Thirty-two teams will participate in the Santosh Trophy
with defending champions Goa, runners-up Bengal and
semifinalists Tamil Nadu and Services being directly seeded
into the quarterfinal league.
In the preliminary round, 28 teams will be divided into
eight clusters. The teams will play round-robin league in each
The winner of each cluster will then battle it out in the
knock-out pre-quarterfinal stage for a place in the
The quarterfinal league will be held from July 30 to
August 4, while the semifinals will be played on August 6.
The grand finale of the tournament will be played on July 8.
In the last edition held in Tamil Nadu, Goa lifted the
trophy after defeating Bengal in the penalty shootout.
Cluster I: Karnataka, Meghalaya and Jharkhand.
Cluster II: Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Tripura and Andhra
Cluster III: Punjab, Puducherry, Gujarat and Nagaland.
Cluster IV: Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan.
Cluster V: Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and
Cluster VI: Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Sikkim.
Cluster VII: Kerala, Uttarakhand, Assam and Himachal
Cluster VIII: Mizoram, Orissa and Railways.