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Santosh Trophy 2024: Where and When to Watch in Arunachal Pradesh

20 Feb,2024 05:56 PM, by: Posy Lui
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Football enthusiasts, brace yourselves for the excitement brewing in the serene landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh as the 77th National Football Championship, also known as the Santosh Trophy, kicks off from February 21 to March 9. This event marks a historic milestone as Arunachal Pradesh proudly becomes the first northeastern state to host this prestigious tournament, promising a unique blend of culture and football fervour. The tournament, also recognised as the FIFA Santosh Trophy from the 2024-25 season onwards, is an inter-state national football competition that brings together state associations and government institutions under the umbrella of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The reigning title is currently held with pride by the state of Karnataka, adding an extra layer of anticipation to the tournament.

Arunachal As The Host State:

Football is widely embraced in Arunachal Pradesh, with both boys and girls actively partaking in the sport and aspiring to become the next Messi and Ronaldo. In 2024, Arunachal Pradesh steps into the limelight as the gracious host of this grand event. This marks a significant moment in the state's sporting history, showcasing its capability to organise and manage a football extravaganza of national importance.

The lush landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh, known for their breathtaking beauty, rich biodiversity, diverse culture, and age-old traditions, will now witness a super adrenaline-rushing experience and rising sportsmen on the football field. Those supporting the host state; the opening match, slated for February 21, will witness the host, Arunachal Pradesh, facing off against the five-time champion, Goa, at the Golden Jubilee Outdoor Stadium in Yupia from 7pm onwards.

Teams and Groups:

Twelve formidable teams have been divided into two groups of six each, setting the stage for intense competition. In Group A, we have Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Kerala, Meghalaya, and Services. Meanwhile, Group B consists of Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, and Railways. The round-robin format will lead to an expanded knockout stage, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinals.

Knockout Stages:

The knockout stage, a crucial juncture in any tournament, will commence on March 4, pitting the top teams from Group A against those from Group B. The quarterfinals on March 4 and 5 will set the stage for intense battles, determining the semi-finalists who will vie for a coveted spot in the final.

The semi-finals on March 7 promise nail-biting encounters as the winners of the quarterfinals face off to secure a place in the grand finale. The ultimate showdown is scheduled for March 9, where the victorious teams from the semi-finals will battle for the prestigious Santosh Trophy.

When to Tune In:

Football fans, mark your calendars! The action-packed fixtures will unfold from February 21 to March 9, promising a feast of footballing brilliance. The initial matches on February 21 feature Meghalaya vs. Services (10 a.m.), Assam vs. Kerala (2.30 p.m.), and the host, Arunachal Pradesh, taking on Goa (7 p.m.). Subsequent days will witness clashes between Delhi and Karnataka, Manipur and Railways, Maharashtra, and Mizoram and so on and so forth.

Where to Catch the Action:

The newly-built Golden Jubilee Outdoor Stadium (active since 2022) in Yupia, Itanagar will be the centre of attention for football fans as thousands of people come together on the epicentre of the event. It boasts a seating capacity of up to 15,000 people, creating a vibrant atmosphere for gatherings. The stadium offers an ideal atmosphere for thrill-filled games and memorable memories, with its gorgeous atmosphere situated against the serene backdrop of Yupia. Entry is free for the opening matches on the first day. Subsequent matches will have an entry fee starting from 100 rs for, and you can book tickets online through BookMyShow.

For those planning to witness the matches live, the Naharlagun Railway Station serves as the nearest transport hub, ensuring easy access for football enthusiasts. Additionally, the Donyi-Polo Airport in Itanagar, located approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours away (depending on the route and situations), provides convenient air travel options for fans eager to be part of this historic event.

Preparation of Santosh Trophy 2024 by Arunachal Pradesh:

As the excitement builds, the organisers have left no stone unturned in ensuring a seamless and secure event. The focus extends beyond the football field to various aspects of event management.

Event Inauguration:

The championship will officially be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Legislative Assembly Speaker PD Sona. This ceremonial kickoff adds a touch of grandeur to the event, setting the stage for an unforgettable tournament.

Security Measures:

To maintain law and order, two companies of force have been deployed. The assurance of player security at hotels, overseen by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), adds an extra layer of protection. Coordination with PRI leaders has been established to raise event awareness and foster cooperation.

Traffic and Parking Management:

Efficient traffic management is a priority, with requests for categorically issued vehicle passes. The horticulture garden has been designated for two-wheeler parking, streamlining the flow of spectators and ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Sanitation and Water Supply:

A clean and hygienic environment is paramount, with the installation of 26 dustbins and a garbage lifting truck at the stadium. A substantial 1 lakh-litre capacity water tank, coupled with a 24/7 water tanker, will ensure a continuous and ample water supply for all attendees.

Prohibited Items:

For the safety and well-being of everyone, a list of prohibited items has been established. Items such as pan/gutkha, weapons, and inflammable substances are strictly not allowed inside the stadium, contributing to a secure and enjoyable environment.

Overall, it's all about security, smooth traffic, cleanliness, and making sure you have a blast watching the beautiful game!


In Conclusion:

As the 77th National Football Championship unfolds in the heart of Arunachal Pradesh, it promises not just a sporting spectacle but an immersive experience for fans and participants alike. The perfect amalgamation of skill, strategy, and sportsmanship on the field, coupled with meticulous event management off the field, sets the stage for a football fiesta in the Northeast. So, whether you're a die-hard football enthusiast or a casual spectator, make sure to catch the action as Arunachal Pradesh etches its

name in the history of Santosh Trophy hosting.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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