Gangtok, 23 Oct:
The 39th edition of All India Governor’s Gold Cup Football Tournament will be held from 01 to 12 November here at Paljor Stadium.
Twelve teams have confirmed participation, Sikkim Football Association informed today.
The participating teams from outside are: ISL clubs ATK Kolkata [Reserve] and Jamshedpur Football Club [Reserve], Punjab Police XI, Army [Red], Eastern Railways, Md Sporting Club, BSS Sporting Club, Kidderpore Sporting Club and East Bengal Academy from Kolkata.
The local teams in the fray are Independence Day Cup champions Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club and premier division clubs Sikkim Police and State Sport Academy.
This is the first time that three local teams have been accommodated in the tournament.
Addressing a press conference here today, SFA president Menla Ethenpa shared that a highlight of the Governor’s Gold Cup this year will be the reserve teams of two ISL clubs and contended that other teams were also popular clubs from different parts of the country.
He informed that SFA had contacted All Nepal Football Association and other top clubs of Nepal for the tournament as well but due to their prior commitments in local tournaments there, no team from Nepal was coming for the tournament this year.
Teams from Nepal, it may be recalled, have always been popular at the tournament.
Meanwhile, Mr Ethenpa has urged all football lovers and sports enthusiasts of the State to come and support their clubs in the tournament.
SFA general secretary, Nanga T Bhutia, in turn mentioned that the tournament provided a big platform for promising footballers as spotters from big clubs have traditionally been coming for the tournament to scout for talented footballers.
The tournament carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh for the winner and Rs 1 lakh to runners-up.
The inaugural match of the tournament is scheduled be played under floodlights at 5 PM on 01 November and the remaining matches will all start at 2 PM.
Mr Ethenpa mentioned that Jamshedpur FC was taking part in this tournament for the first time and Kidderpore SC was returning to the tournament after a gap of around 37 years.
He informed that the entry to the Hillside Gallery will be free for students [in uniform or with college ID] for the inaugural match.