Calcutta, April 12: The IFA, in their bid to provide a fillip to the game in the districts, has planned a new tournament. Subrata Dutta, IFA treasurer, informed that a eight-team under-19 tournament — East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting and Tollygunge Agragami included — has been planned.
The tournament will also include the four semi-finalists of the IFA organised inter-district tournament.
“The district teams that will take part in the tournament are Cooch Behar, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Manbhum,” the treasurer, who is likely to become the sole secretary of the association by the end of this month, said.
The treasurer also informed that it will be a home-and-away tournament. “With teams like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan playing, the district associations will get a big boost,” Dutta added.
He further said that the money that the district associations get from the gate sales will be utilised in the growth of the game.
It was also learnt that the home matches of the big clubs will be played in places like Dumurjola, Kamalgazee, Howrah — according to the wish of the teams.
“Another objective of holding the meet is to see that the players chosen by the city teams for the U-19 National Football League get more matches. Then only, a proper pipeline can be created,” Dutta informed.
The tournament will be played after the U-19 NFL is over, scheduled to take place from May 15 to 30 in Calcutta and Margao simultaneously.
The official further said that the city clubs will get a grant of Rs 1 lakh from the IFA for the meet.
Meanwhile, the IFA organised football bazar held at the SAI complex has turned out to be a huge success. It was learnt that about 50 players have been chosen by the city clubs from the bazar. The lodging facilities for the chosen players will be provided by the IFA.