Discussions were also held regarding the Super Cup that will resume this season.
The AIFF’s Competitions Committee met at the Football House in Delhi on Tuesday, 27th September 2022. The committee discussed the roadmap for national-level domestic competitions held across the country. Mr. Anilkumar Prabhakar of Kerala chaired the meeting.
Delegates from the AIFF and different state football governing bodies attended the meeting. Chairman Mr. Anilkumar said, ”It is our intention that the National Football Championship will act as a feeder for the football in our country and help in broad basing the pool of players. With such a system in place, we are confident that Indian Football will benefit in the long run.”
Here, we take a look at the three most important decisions taken at the AIFF Competitions Committee meeting.
3. Santosh Trophy Reforms
The legacy tournament was on top of the committee’s priority list. It suggested that from now on, Santosh Trophy would be played on a zonal basis. 12 state teams will play in the final round, among which 10 will come through the qualifiers. The Services and the Railways will be the other two.
The 10 qualifying teams will be decided by dividing the states into seven groups of five-six teams each during the zonal stage. From these seven groups, the group toppers, two best second-placed teams, and the host state will qualify for the final round. The group stage will get underway in December.
The Committee further stated that a similar format shall be adopted by all the other National Football Championships across all age groups. It believes it will help footballers by providing them more game time and opportunities to improve their game.
2. Announcement of the Senior Women’s NFC Qualifiers
The Committee took a major decision regarding women’s football. It stated that the Senior Women’s National Football Championship Qualifiers will also begin in December. Considered to be the women’s version of the Santosh Trophy, it was first held in 1992. The tournament has been a supply chain for the Indian women’s football team and is a proven platform for youngsters to showcase their talent.
1. Communication regarding Super Cup
The AIFF Competitions Committee took several decisions regarding the Super Cup as well. The Committee said that the Super Cup will be played across different venues selected by the AIFF in a broad-based manner. The tournament will consist of five rounds, namely the qualifying rounds, the pre-quarterfinals, the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and the final.
How this format will affect the teams and at what intervals these matches will be played are some questions that football fans will have a keen eye upon. However, these changes will definitely broaden the base and take Indian football to a lot of new audiences.