Gokulam Kerala FC will participate in the 123rd IFA Shield football tournament which will be held at Kolkata from December 6.
IFA Shield is organised by Indian Football Association, the football governing body in West Bengal. It is one of the oldest football tournaments in the country. The only successful Kerala team in the tournament was FC Kochin, which finished runners-up in the year 1997.
GKFC are in Group ‘D’ along with United SC and BSS SC. Malabarians will play its group matches against United SC and BSS SC on December 6 th and December 12 respectively. The other major teams playing in the tournament are newly-promoted I League clubs Mohammedan SC, Sudeva FC and AIFF developmental squad Indian Arrows.
Two teams from each group will progress into the quarterfinals. The tentative date for the final is on October 20. The matches will be held behind closed doors, following strict Covid-19 regulations, the organisers said . The venues of each match are yet to be confirmed.
“We are aiming nothing else than winning the tournament. The tournament will be very helpful to make the boys ready for the I-League. The first match is on December 6 th and we have already started to prepare for that,” said Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese.
“We are happy to play another historic tournament in the country. Last year we won the Durand Cup. Now we have a new challenge and we are ready for it. Our aim is to win all the tournaments we play, and we have set up a good squad this season. We think we would be able to bring another historic title to Kerala,” VC Praveen, the president of Gokulam Kerala FC, said .