Mumbai, Feb 22 (UNI) Top notch football clubs including Goa's Vasco, Mumbai's Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizers and Mumbai Football Club will be amongst the 28 teams for the fifth All India invitational Abhijit Kadam Memorial knock-out football tournament to be held in Pune from February 27.
For the first time in its history, five professional teams will parade their skills in the 11-day tournament, which is sponsored by Reliance Industries and organised by the Abhijit Kadam Memorial Foundation in association with Deccan XI Football Club, Pune under the auspices of the All India Football Association (AIFF), Western India Football Association (WIFA) and the Poona District Football Association (PDFA).
Speaking to the newspersons here today, Abhijit Kadam Memorial Foundation Managing Trustee Viswajeet Kadam said, ''We have tried our level best to include a team each from each zone of the country and I guess the field has surpassed expectations.'' He, however, rued that a team from the East, the home of Indian football could not confirm their participation since most of the clubs there are participating in the IFA Shield.
He further said that since the AIFF has decided on conducting the second division I League preliminary group matches at Pune and Kolhapur, five teams - Mumbai Football Club, Osian's New Delhi Heroes, Vasco Sports Club, Goa, Indian Bank, Chennai and Pune Football Club will be utilising this tournament as a build-up to their campaign.
The tournament will have 14 local teams taking on 14 outstation teams who will vie for a total prize money of Rs 1.71 lakh, which is a whopping 45 per cent increase from last year.
The winner will get Rs 1 lakh apart from a trophy and certificates, while the runner-up will be richer by Rs 51,000. There will also be prizes for Best Goalkeeper, and Best Player with both standing to gain Rs 10,000 each, the organisers announced at the conference.
Besides this the organisers will also be arranging a charity match between Bollywood stars and a Pune Select team on March 4 to generate funds for various NGOs, it was announced.
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