Guwahati, Sept. 11: Altogether 12 teams, including CRPF, Jalandhar, will slog it out for the honours in the Rs 1 lakh prize money the sixth GTC Challenge Trophy football tournament to be held at Judges Field here from tomorrow till September 22.
Barring the Jalandhar paramilitary outfit, all the other teams are from home state Assam as four Shillong outfits, including Shillong Lajong FC and Rangdajied United, had to pull out in the last moment due to rescheduling of the I-League which is commencing on September 21. The tournament’s earlier editions comprised 16 teams.
The other teams in the fray are hosts Gauhati Town Club, holders Oil India FC, Assam Rifles, Green Valley Sports Club, Assam State Electricity Board, 24 Assam Police (IR) Battalion, City Police, Kamrupa FC, Food Corpration of India and Tinsukia sides Brodusa Club and Barekuri Coaching Centre.
“All the matches will be held day/night with kickoff at 4.30pm,” said GTC general secretary Devajit Saikia.
“Though we are in a deep financial crisis to hold the tournament with very few corporate houses coming forward to help us owing to the ongoing financial slowdown, we are not compromising on the prize money. It will remain Rs 50,000 for the winners, Rs 30,000 for the runners-up and Rs 20,000 for the individual award winners. We are going to use funds generated from the club itself,” Saikia added.
Only Airtel and United Spirits are co-sponsoring the annual tournament. Meanwhile, it is time for the soccer veterans of arch-rivals GTC and Maharana Athletic Club to lace up their boots once again to lock horns in an exhibition match prior to the final on September 22.
“The veteran star players of both the sides will take the field in the friendly encounter. It is an effort to reminisce on the golden days of football in the city,” Saikia said.