Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting will lead the challenge as the two seeded teams in the Tower all-Airlines Gold Cup football, which gets underway on August 2. Apart from the top two sides, which have been seeded directly to the semifinlas, there will be six more teams in contention.
The six unseeded sides — Aryan Club, Southern Samity, George Telegraph SC, Janbazar AC, Kalighat Milan Sangha and Bhowanipore Club — have been dived in two groups and will play the initial round.
Two teams from the preliminary round, which will be held at the Mohun Bagan ground, will progress to the semifinals. The last-four stage will be played at Salt Lake Stadium on August 6 and 8 and the final on August 11.
The tournament, which was not held for three seasons between 2007 and 2009, has regenerated interest with the return of a big I-League team like Mohun Bagan.
There is no prize money for winner or runner-up but every team will get an unspecified amount as match fee from the tournament budget of Rs. 40 lakh.
Around 1,800 sub-junior footballers have registered for the three-day audition for Airtel Rising Stars — touted as one of India’s largest under-16 football talent hunts.
The city audition will be held at the Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium from Saturday.
Airtel Rising Stars is scouting program that will cover 16 cities across India and pick up 12 talented footballers, who will get a chance to attend a week-long training camp at Manchester United Soccer Schools.
The boys in the first round of the city audition will be tested by a panel of five coaches-cum-selectors, who will short-list 120 players for the next phase of selection.
The second phase of selection will prune the number to three players, who will then join the selected players from other 15 centres in a six-day final selection trial scheduled in September.
Keywords: Tower all-Airlines Gold Cup football