J&K likely to host Santosh Trophy after nod by AIFF observers

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Srinagar, Dec 18 (UNI) After a long wait of nearly 30 years, Jammu and Kashmir is almost certain to host the 62nd edition of the Santosh Trophy in May next year after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) today expressed satisfaction over the infrastructure being put in place here for organising such a big national event.

The AIFF rushed its two senior observers -- Subroto Dutta and Nasir Ali -- here today to inspect the grounds and other infrastructure required for hosting the major national football tournament.

''We have inspected the two grounds and are fully satisfied with the infrastructure being provided by the state government and the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association for hosting the next Santosh Trophy in mid-May next year,'' Dutta told a news conference here.

The two observers inspected the Bakshi Stadium and the Polo Grounds here.

He said they would soon submit their report about the condition of the grounds and other infrastructure to the AIFF executive committee.

Dutta said the AIFF would hold its crucial executive committee meeting in New Delhi on December 22.

The meeting would take a final decision regarding the 62nd edition of the Santosh Trophy and grant the tournament to a particular state'', he added.

''It will be favourable for Jammu and Kashmir,'' Dutta replied when asked to elaborate about their report.

Dutta, who is the AIFF vice-president, said ten states, including Jammu and Kashmir, would be provided financial assistance by the football body to upgrade the infrastructure and promote the game.

He said the JKFA has demanded a football tournament of national level in the state every year.

As many as 35 teams from across the country are expected to participate in the Santosh Trophy next year.

Srinagar had hosted the 35th edition of the Santosh Trophy in 1978 when Goa won the tournament, defeating West Bengal 2-0. The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir had also hosted the Federation Cup at Bakshi Stadium in 1984.

The two observers would visit Jammu tomorrow.

UNI

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