The IFA Shield, organised by the Indian Football Association (IFA), is all set to kick-start on July 5 with ATK U-19 taking on Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting. The second match of the day will feature East Bengal and SAIL Football Academy.
IFA Shield is one of the oldest cup competitions in India. The upcoming edition marks the 125th year of the tournament. At one point, IFA Shield was even considered to be among the three most important competitions in India. Along with the Durand Cup and the Rovers Cup, it was part of the famous triple crown of Indian football. East Bengal is the most successful team of the competition, winning it 28 times.
In 2015, the tournament was rechristened and the then blue-riband competition was converted into a U-19 tournament. Defending champions FC Pune City who had defeated Mohun Bagan SAIL-Academy 3-0 in the final last year, have pulled out of the competition.
SAIL Football Academy, East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting and ATK are placed in Group A and Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, Tata Football Academy (TFA) and Bengal Football Academy are placed in Group B. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals which will be played on 15th and 16th of July. The final will be held on July 19.
July 5: Mohammedan Sporting vs ATK
July 6: East Bengal vs SAIL Football Academy
July 6: Mohun Bagan vs Churchill Brothers
July 7: TFAvs Bengal Football Academy
July 8: East Bengal vs ATK
July 8: Mohammedan Sporting vs SAIL Football Academy
July 9: Mohun Bagan vs Bengal Football Academy
July 10: Churchill Brothers vs TFA
July 11: East Bengal vs Mohammedan Sporting
July 11: SAIL Football Academy vs ATK
July 12: Mohun Bagan vs TFA
July 12: Churchill Brothers vs Bengal Football Academy
July 15: Semifinal 1
July 16: Semifinal 2
July 19: Final