The tournament will last for a fortnight in July.
The Indian football season inches closer, as the latest U-19 IFA Shield fixtures have been announced. The prestigious tournament was started by the British government and is the second oldest tournament in the history of the game.
The IFA Shield was restructured to become an U-19 youth football tournament by the IFA in 2015, considering the busy schedule of the AIFF, which includes tournaments almost all round the year. The tournament will have eight teams and will run for about two weeks.
Defending champions FC Pune City will start their title defence in the opening match against East Bengal. The reigning champions won last year’s final against Mohun Bagan‘s SAIL Academy 3-0 and will look to do the same this time around as well.
It will also be an exciting encounter when the legacy clubs of West Bengal (East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan SC) will face ISL side ATK. The rivalry between the clubs has heated up quickly and now it will be quite a spectacle when these teams play each other in this prestigious tournament.
The Stallions have been drawn in Group A alongside the West Bengal heavyweights, East Bengal, ATK and Mohammedan Sporting Club. Whereas Mohun Bagan are placed in Group B, partnered by Churchill Brothers and Tata Football Academy, where they will be accompanied by a team from the ongoing qualifiers.
Group A: FC Pune City, East Bengal, ATK and Mohammedan Sporting Club
Group B: Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, TATA Football Academy, Qualifier.
The tournament is set to run from 5th to 19th July, Matches will be played at the East Bengal Ground, Mohun Bagan Ground and Barasat Stadium in Kolkata, as the City of Joy gets prepared for a brand new Indian football season.