The groupings for the 76th Hero Senior Men’s National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy and the Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championships were conducted at the Football House in New Delhi on Friday, October 21, 2022, in a virtual draw ceremony that was attended by the State FAs.
Also present in the draw ceremony was AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, who joined virtually from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, along with representatives of the State FAs, who joined the meeting from their respective states.
The two senior national football championships will be played in a new format that will see the 36 states fight it out across six groups for a chance to make it to the Final Round.
AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran said after the ceremony, “I am glad to see the enthusiasm and proactive participation of the state association representatives in the virtual draw ceremony for Hero Santosh Trophy and National Women’s Championships today. With the new competitive structure for the senior national championships, we can expect value addition in many aspects of the game at the State level.”
The six group toppers, along with three best second-placed teams will qualify for the Final Rounds of the Hero Senior Men’s National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy, while six group toppers, and the four best second-placed teams will make it to the Final Rounds of the Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championship.
Railways and Services will get direct entry into the Hero Senior Men’s National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy Final Rounds, while Railways will get direct entry to the Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championship Final Round. The hosts of the Final Rounds of the respective tournaments will join as the remaining team. If the hosts finish within the qualification spots in the Group Stage, then the next best team will take the qualification spot.
In the Final Round, the 12 best teams from across the country will be divided into two groups of six teams each, as they will subsequently play in a round robin format, before proceeding to the knockout rounds.
The 36 State FAs were also invited to bid for the hosting rights of the Group Stages and the Final Rounds. As announced earlier, semi-finals and final of the 76th Hero Senior Men’s NFC for Santosh Trophy will be held in Saudi Arabia.
Groupings for the 76th Hero Senior Men’s NFC for Santosh Trophy
Group I: Karnataka, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Leh & Ladakh.
Group II: Kerala, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir.
Group III: Goa, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland.
Group IV: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Daman & Dadra, Haryana.
Group V: Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar.
Group VI: Punjab, Manipur, Jharkhand, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep.
Groupings for the 76th Hero Senior Women’s NFC
Group I: Haryana, Punjab, Sikkim, Telangana, Meghalaya, Nagaland.
Group II: Mizoram, Maharashtra, Kerala, Pondicherry, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh.
Group III: Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura.
Group IV: Jharkhand, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Leh & Ladakh.
Group V: Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman & Dadra, Uttar Pradesh, Lakshadweep.
Group VI: Manipur, Assam, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Andaman & Nicobar.