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IFA Shield Football from Febraury 25

The teams in each group would play among themselves in the round robin league format, with the winners and runners-up advancing into the semi-finals to be played on March 5. The final would be held on March 7.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Kolkata
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2008 09:49 PM IST

Seven teams including Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Churchill Brothers and Mahindra United will take part in the 113th IFA Shield Football tournament that begins here from February 25.

Two foreign outfits - Santos FC of South Africa and Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting of Bangladesh - as also the winner of the qualifying tournament Prodyut Dutta Memorial Trophy would be the other participants in the ten-day tournament, Indian Football Association Secretary Utpal Ganguly told mediapersons after releasing the fixture here on Friday.

Mohun Bagan, Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting, Churchill Brothers and the qualifier have been placed in Group A, while East Bengal, Santos FC and Mahindra United constitute Group B.

The teams in each group would play among themselves in the round robin league format, with the winners and runners-up advancing into the semi-finals to be played on March 5. The final would be held on March 7.

Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting would clash with the qualifying side on the inaugural day at the Salt Lake stadium, while Mohun Bagan take on Churchill Brothers at the same venue next day.

Mahindra face Santos on February 27, while Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting would lock horns with Mohun Bagan on February 28. Churchill would cross swords with the qualifier on February 29 at the Salt Lake stadium.

With the IFA not getting access to the Salt Lake stadium from March 1 onwards, as it is scheduled to host the Book Fair from that day, the venue of most of the remaining matches are yet to be decided.

East Bengal and Mahindra clash on March 1 in Barasat, before Bagan take on the qualifiers, while East Bengal fight Santos on March 2 and 3 respectively.

As the grounds of the two city giants are used by the Bengal Hockey Association at this time of the year, Ganguly said he had requested the BHA for allowing the IFA to host Shield matches from March 2-7.

"BHA has agreed in principle, and I am now expecting a formal letter of consent from it," Ganguly said.

Once the BHA gives the letter, the matches on March 2 and 3 would be hosted at the Mohun Bagan and East Bengal grounds respectively.

Depending on the teams taking part, the venues of the semi-finals and final would be decided.

IFA has shortlisted five grounds - East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Durga Chak stadium in Haldia, Howrah Municipal Stadium, and Barasat stadium.

Dhaka Mohammedan would be arriving on February 24, and Santos the next day, Ganguly said.

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