The 76th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy 2022-23 will start on December 23 as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday revealed the dates and venues — Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Kozhikode — of three of the six groups for the tournament.
While Group I will be played in Delhi (Dec 23 to Dec 31), Group II and V will be played in Kozhikode (Dec 26 to Jan 8, 2023) and Bhubaneswar (Dec 24 to Jan 1, 2023), respectively.
The dates and venues of other groups will be released soon, the AIFF said.
The Senior National Football Championships will be played in a new format that will see the 36 states fight it out across six groups for a chance to make it to the final round. The six group toppers, along with the three best second-placed teams will qualify for the final rounds. Railways and Services will get direct entry along with the hosts.
Group I features Karnataka, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tripura and Ladakh. Group II has Kerala, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, while Group V comprises Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Pondicherry and Andaman & Nicobar.
The composition of Groups III, IV and VI will be announced later.