Shillong: Holder West Bengal and runner-up Maharashtra will contend with teams from other circles in the country for the top honours in the all-India BSNL football tournament beginning here next week.
Eleven teams who have confirmed their participation have been divided into four groups at the tournament which begins October 9 at the J N Stadium here.
Besides the two top teams and host Meghalaya, other teams include Punjab, J&K, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, NE-II Circle (Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland), MTNL Delhi, MTNL Mumbai and host team NE-I Circle (Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram).
Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh will attend the opening ceremony of the tourney.
Senior general manager, BSNL NE CircleI, Damodar Rao expressed happiness that his circle was given the responsibility of hosting the tournament though initially the circle had opted to host badminton, table tennis.
"It is quite challenging and we are working overtime to make the event successful," Rao said adding that the support of the Shillong Sports Association (SSA) to handle logistics and technical expertise besides the ground was an inspiration for the organisers.