Saudi Arabia to host India’s historic Santosh Trophy

February 28 – Saudi Arabia, which is aiming to host some of football’s biggest tournaments including potentially the World Cup in 2030, is also sharing its facilities and hospitality lower down the football pyramid in terms of performance, but nevertheless with the second largest country in the world.

The Kingdom is set to host the 2022-23 semi-finals and final of India’s Hero Santosh Trophy Riyadh respectively on March 1 and 4. This will be the first time the competition has been played outside of India since its inception in 1941 and follows on from the singing of a memorandum of understanding to co-operate on football development between the Saudi and Indian FAs made at the end of last year.

Now in its 76th edition, the Santosh Trophy will be played at the King Fahd International Stadium which will host all four matches. The 68,000-capacity stadium has already hosted the Spanish Super Cup between Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Betis and Valencia, and the Italian Super Cup between by AC Milan and Inter Milan this year.

AIFF Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, said: ” It is an ample testimony of the deep-rooted relationship between the two federations, which has grown into a symbiotic association to take the beautiful game ahead. I am confident that the organization of the Hero Santosh Trophy in Riyadh will leave a mark in the minds of all participants and young footballers, who will carry home an experience which they will cherish for many years to come.”

The preliminary stage of the 2022-23 season saw 36 states and Union Territories playing in six different groups. The final round then hosted 12 teams into two groups with the top two teams from each group (Punjab and Services) and the runners-up (Karnataka and Meghalaya) qualifying to the final stages in Saudi Arabia.

SAFF General Secretary Ibrahim Alkassim said: “We are delighted to welcome all four teams to the Kingdom as they compete on Saudi soil for the first overseas Santosh Trophy in history. We are aware of the value of this competition, how much it means to Indians across the world and the great memories and traditions it holds.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1713043186labto1713043186ofdlr1713043186owedi1713043186sni@n1713043186osloh1713043186cin.l1713043186uap1713043186

 

 


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