Twenty teams to participate in maiden Hero National Beach Soccer Championship

After starting a revamped and rejuvenated format of the Hero Santosh Trophy at the end of last year and the second edition of the Hero Futsal Championship set to follow, the AIFF continues to expand football’s frontiers.

In the presence of Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, the federation announced the groups and fixtures for the inaugural Hero National Beach Soccer Championship at the Football House in New Delhi on Monday, January 2, 2023.

Speaking on the occasion of the draw to decide the groups, Dr Prabhakaran, wished everyone a prosperous New Year and expressed excitement at the launch of a new format of competition. 

“We are thrilled to launch this competition and are thankful to the Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) for conducting the event. It is commendable that twenty teams will take part in the competition to be held in Surat,” he said. 

“Seeing as this is the first time the competition will be held, there are obviously no clear favourites,” Mr Prabhakaran said. “Every team will come with an open mindset hoping to capitalise and become inaugural champions. We look forward to an exciting event.”

“We feel excited to be hosting the first edition of this event,” Mr Mulrajsinh Chudasama, Secretary GSFA, said while welcoming teams. “It is a huge privilege, and we are well prepared to ensure all the participating teams have a great time here.” 

Chairperson of the Beach Soccer Committee Mr Jignesh Patil, while welcoming teams for the event, also said that the committee was encouraged by the enthusiasm that saw 20 teams register for the event. “We hope in the coming years, more states will also choose to host the event,” he said.

The Hero National Beach Soccer Championship will be held at the Dumas Beach in Surat, Gujarat, in Arena I and Arena II.

Following are the Groupings for the Hero National Beach Soccer Championship:

Group A: Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar.

Group B: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Services, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh.

Group C: Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Delhi.

Group D: Dadra & Nagar Haveli And Daman & Diu, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka.

The following are the Fixtures:

Group A:

26th January: Himachal Pradesh vs Lakshadweep, Bihar vs Jharkhand.

27th January: Andaman & Nicobar vs Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh vs Bihar.

28th January: Lakshadweep vs Bihar, Andaman & Nicobar vs Himachal Pradesh.

29th January: Jharkhand vs Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep vs Andaman & Nicobar.

30th January: Bihar vs Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand vs Lakshadweep.

Group B:

26th January: Gujarat vs Kerala, Rajasthan vs Services.

27th January: Madhya Pradesh vs Services, Gujarat vs Rajasthan.

28th January: Kerala vs Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh vs Gujarat.

29th January: Services vs Gujarat, Kerala vs Madhya Pradesh.

30th January: Rajasthan vs Madhya Pradesh, Services vs Kerala.

Group C:

26th January: Mizoram vs Manipur, Andhra Pradesh vs Uttarakhand.

27th January: Delhi vs Uttarakhand, Mizoram vs Andhra Pradesh.

28th January: Manipur vs Andhra Pradesh, Delhi vs Mizoram.

29th January: Uttarakhand vs Mizoram, Manipur vs Delhi.

30th January: Andhra Pradesh vs Delhi, Uttarakhand vs Manipur.

Group D:

26th January: DNH & DD vs Goa, Odisha vs Arunachal Pradesh.

27th January: Karnataka vs Arunachal Pradesh, DNH & DD vs Odisha.

28th January: Goa vs Odisha, Karnataka vs DNH & DD.

29th January: Arunachal Pradesh vs DNH & DD, Goa vs Karnataka.

30th January: Odisha vs Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh vs Goa.

Knockout Stages:

Quarter-finals:

January 31: Winner Group A vs Runner-up Group B; Winner Group B vs Runner-up Group A; Winner Group C vs Runner-up Group D; Winner Group D vs Runner-up Group C.

Semifinals:

January 31: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF 3; Winner QF2 vs Winner QF4.

Final: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2.

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