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Bagan, Md.Sp. in NFL opener

Calcutta: Mohammedan Sporting and Mohun Bagan will kick off the eighth edition of the National Football League (NFL) at Salt Lake Stadium on November 28.

Holders East Bengal, however, will begin their title-defence after two days in Goa’s Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium against Salgaocar. Tollygunge Agragami, the fourth team from the city, will begin their campaign also in Goa, against Churchill Brothers.

The AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco said the national body has decided to raise the subsidy to the participating 12 teams from Rs 1 lakh to 2.5 lakh.

The official informed Asia’s top club tournament will be played in a new three-tier format to avoid it from spilling over to another season. There will be no Indian representation in the top-tier — the AFC Champions League.

NFL champions East Bengal and Federation Cup holders Mahindra United will take part in the AFC Cup, which is the second tier of the tournament. President’s Cup is the lowest tier.

ROUND I FIXTURES

Nov. 28: Mohammedan Sporting vs Mohun Bagan (Calcutta); Nov. 29: Vasco vs Haywards SC (Goa); Nov. 30: Salgaocar vs East Bengal (Goa), Mahindra United vs Dempo (Mumbai); Dec. 1: Indian Bank vs JCT (Chennai), Churchill Brothers vs Tollygunge Agragami (Goa).

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