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Shield from Jan. 29

Calcutta: The IFA Shield will get underway from January 29, next year with the final scheduled on February 11, the state association announced after a sub-committee meeting, on Friday.

The competition will be an eight-team affair. There will also be a third-place play-off this time around.

As of now, the city’s ‘Big Four’ — East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting and United SC — have all confirmed their participation along with Lajong FC.

The IFA has also sent invitations to Dempo SC, Churchill Brothers and I-League toppers Bengaluru FC. At least one of the three would certainly be seen in action.

The participation of overseas teams in this tournament has become a regular feature. On this occasion as well, the IFA is making all attempts to make sure at least one team from abroad take part in this edition.

“We have had discussions with two teams from England and one each from Egypt and South Korea. It goes without saying that we would like two overseas teams to participate in the competition. However, we’re confident that at least one of them will definitely be seen this season,” IFA vice-president Krishnendu Banerjee said.