Calcutta: The Indian Football Association (IFA) has announced the introduction of a state league.
The tournament, beginning on December 5, looks at unearthing talent from the districts and will be held across the state on a home-and-away basis. The league will run through February.
IFA secretary Subrata Dutta announced at a media conference on Tuesday that teams from 20 districts will take part in the tournament which will be held in three segments.
Players will have to be registered with respective district associations and no team can field more than five who play in the IFA Super Division and first division leagues.
The tournament will be sponsored by Utkal Asbestos Limited and will be named Konark State League.
In the first phase, the 20 teams will be divided into six groups with four containing three and two containing four teams each. After a home-and-away round robin league, the top two from each group will make it to the second phase.
These 12 teams will again be divided into four groups.
After another set of home-and-away matches, the group toppers will move into the final phase. These four teams will play each other twice before the top four are determined.
Winners of each match will be awarded Rs 3000 which has to be distributed among players as incentive. The champions will bag Rs 1 lakh, the runners-up Rs 50,000.
The losing semi-finalists will be richer by Rs 25,000. There will also be individual awards in each match from the second phase.
Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Malda, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Manbhum, Bankura, Burdwan, Purba Midnapore, Midnapore, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Chandannagar, Howrah, Siliguri, Hooghly.