Santosh Trophy starts in Jammu and Kashmir Sunday

May 24th, 2008 - 11:15 pm ICT by admin  

Srinagar, May 24 (IANS) A total of 31 states and union territories will compete with one another for the top honours in the 62nd edition of the national football event, Santosh Trophy, which kick-starts in Jammu and Kashmir Sunday. “Thirty one states and union territories comprising 620 players, 180 officials, including referees, technical delegates, coaches and physio-therapists, are part of this year’s Santosh trophy contingent,” K.M. Wani, secretary for higher education and official co-ordinator for the championship, told IANS here.

The championship would be declared open by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Bakshi stadium here. The inaugural match would be played between hosts Jammu and Kashmir and Pudicherry.

“The grounds have been prepared by the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association and the All India Football Federation. The referees have described these as world class, where both national and international matches can be played,” Wani said.

The match venues are Bakshi stadium and Polo Grounds in Srinagar and the Maulana Azad stadium and G.M Science College in Jammu.

In addition, six playfields have been developed for practice matches.

Entry for spectators would be free from May 25 to June 2, but from June 5 till the conclusion of the championship June 15, the entry would be through paid tickets.

All the matches from the quarter-final stage would be telecast live by the Zee Sports, which are the sponsors of the event.

“So far 30 local players have represented the country at international football events. We are confident our boys would do well,” Wani said.

The last time the state hosted the Santosh Trophy was in 1978, before the outbreak of the separatist violence.

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