INDIAN FOOTBALL

On March 1, the Santosh Trophy will make history in Saudi Arabia

Hero 75th National Football Championship - Santosh Trophy

In the Santosh Trophy semi-finals, Punjab will meet Meghalaya, while Services will face Karnataka. For the first time, the Santosh Trophy will be held outside of the Indian Subcontinent, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the semi-finals will be held on March 1 and the third-place match and final will be held on March 4.

From 36 teams in the Group Stage, which was contested over six sites, we were down to 12 teams in the Final Round in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, where the states were divided into two groups of six each (ten qualifiers from the Group Stage, plus Services and Railways, who got direct access). At this point of the tournament, Punjab and Karnataka have qualified as the top two in Group A of the Final Round, while Services and Meghalaya qualified as the top two in Group B.

The Arabian chapter of the Santosh Trophy will begin in the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, a stadium that has lately been graced by one of the world’s greatest, arguably one of history’s finest – Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr FC.

Punjab and Meghalaya will be the first to take the field on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 5.30 p.m. IST, followed by the second semi-final, in which Services will face Karnataka at 9 p.m. IST at the same site.

The teams who lose the two semi-finals will meet in the 3rd Place Match at the King Fahd International Stadium on March 4 at 6 p.m. IST, with the final taking place the following day at 9 p.m. IST.

Fixtures for the Santosh Trophy:

Semi-finals: March 1st, 5.30 p.m. IST, Punjab vs. Meghalaya

Services vs. Karnataka, March 1, 9 p.m. IST

3rd Place Match: March 4th, 6 p.m. IST: Loser SF1 vs. Loser SF2.

Final: March 4 at 9 p.m. IST, winner of SF1 vs. winner of SF2.

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