The tournament is expected to last around a fotnight with the final set to take place on 1st April.

Defending champions West Bengal will take on Manipur on the opening day as the 72nd edition of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy kicks-off in Kolkata on March 19, 2018.

Ten teams who qualified from the preliminary stages have been divided into two groups of five teams each with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals which are to be played on March 30, 2018. The final is slated for April 1, 2018.

All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das wished luck to all the participating teams.

“We are delighted to have the Santosh Trophy being hosted in Kolkata. I wish success to the 10 finalists and look forward to a successful hosting of the prestigious event by the Indian Football Association,” he said.

The groupings are as follows:

Group A: West Bengal, Chandigarh, Manipur, Kerala, Maharashtra.

Group B: Goa, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Karnataka.

The fixtures of the tournament are as follows:

GROUP A

19/03/2018 – Chandigarh vs Kerala

19/03/2018 – Manipur vs Bengal

21/03/2018 – Maharashtra vs Bengal

21/03/2018 – Chandigarh vs Manipur

23/03/2018 – Kerala vs Manipur

23/03/2018 – Maharashtra vs Chandigarh

25/03/2018 – Bengal vs Chandigarh

25/03/2018 – Kerala vs Maharashtra

27/03/2018 – Manipur vs Maharashtra

27/03/2018 – Bengal vs Kerala

 

GROUP B

20/03/2018 – Odisha vs Punjab

20/03/2018 – Mizoram vs Goa

22/03/2018 – Karnataka vs Goa

22/03/2018 – Odisha vs Mizoram

24/03/2018 – Punjab vs Mizoram

24/03/2018 – Karnataka vs Odisha

26/03/2018 – Goa vs Odisha

26/03/2018 – Punjab vs Karnataka

28/03/2018 – Mizoram vs Karnataka

28/03/2018 – Goa vs Punjab

SEMI-FINALS

30/03/2018 – Winner Group A vs Runners-Up Group B

30/03/2018 – Winner Group B vs Runners-Up Group A

FINAL

01/04/2018 – Winner Semi-Final 1 vs Winner Semi-Final 2