2020 IFA Shield

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The historic IFA SHIELD, one of the oldest tournaments in India, returns in its former avatar, featuring senior teams, in its 123rd edition. After the widely popular 2014 edition, the Shield was turned into an U-19 tournament due to AIFF giving an exclusive window in the Indian football calendar to the Indian Super League, cutting the season short for independent clubs. However, this year the IFA has decided to restore it to its former glory.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament would take place behind closed doors between 6th and 19th December 2020. This is the first time in almost a century that neither of the Big Two from Kolkata-- East Bengal (29 times champions) nor Mohun Bagan (21 times champions) will be present in this 127 year old competition. To make up for their absence, the IFA have roped in four clubs from the I-League, including Gokulam Kerala FC (Durand Cup 2019 champions), Indian Arrows (AIFF developmental team), Real Kashmir FC and Mohammedan Sporting (6 time champions, newly promoted to I-League after winning I-League Qualifiers, last club to win the Shield with a senior team). Eight teams from the Calcutta Football League will also participate in the IFA Shield 2020.

The IFA has laid out the grouping for the competition:

Group A - Mohammedan SC, Kidderpore SC, Kalighat MS
Group B - Real Kashmir FC, Peerless SC, Aryan Club
Group C - Indian Arrows, Southern Samity, George Telegraph SC
Group D - Gokulam Kerala FC, United SC, BSS Sporting Club

The tournament will have a league-cum-knockout format, with a total of four groups. Each group will comprise of three teams with the top two from each group making it to the quarter-finals. Every team will play its opponent once in the group stage. So, all teams will get to play two games each in the group stage. 

IFA Shield 2020 broadcast and LIVE stream

All matches will be broadcasted live on Kolkata TV. 

Credits: The Fan Garage, Goal.com

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