Santosh Trophy

The Santosh Trophy, officially known as Hero Senior Men's National Football Championship[1] due to sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp, is a knock-out semi-professional football competition contested by the state associations and government institutions under the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport's governing body in India.[2] Before the starting of the first national club league, the National Football League in 1996, the Santosh Trophy was considered the top domestic honour in India.[3] Many players who have represented India internationally, played and gained honour while playing in the Santosh Trophy.[4] The tournament is held every year with 37 teams, who are divided into five zones, must play in the qualifying round and progress into the tournament proper.[5] The current champions are Kerala, who won their seventh title during the 2021–2022 edition.

Hero Senior NFC for Santosh Trophy
National Football Championship.png
Hero National Football Championship logo
Founded1941; 81 years ago (1941)
RegionIndia
Number of teams
  • Qualifying round: 37
  • Tournament proper:10
Current championsKerala (7th title)
Most successful team(s)West Bengal (32 titles)
Television broadcastersSportsCast India
AIFF (Facebook live streaming)
WebsiteHero Senior NFC
2021–22 Santosh Trophy

The tournament was started in 1941 by Indian Football Association (IFA), which was the then de facto governing body of football in India, and was named after the then president of the IFA, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhury, the Maharaja of Santosh.[3][6] The IFA later donated the Santosh Trophy to the AIFF, soon after its formation as the sport's official governing body in India, and since then AIFF has been organising the tournament. The trophy for the runner-up, Kamala Gupta Trophy, was also donated by the then president of IFA, Dr. S.K. Gupta, and it was named in honour of his wife.[7] The third-place trophy, Sampangi Cup, was donated by the Karnataka State Football Association (then Mysore Football Association) and was named so in the memory of a renowned footballer, Sampangi, who was from Mysore.[7] Until 2018, the tournament was organised as an individual competition, but since 2021, the AIFF rebranded it as the men's senior tier of National Football Championship for the regional teams of various age groups.

BackgroundEdit

The Santosh Trophy was started in 1941 after the then president of the Indian Football Association, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh and later, Sir Satish Chandra Chowdhury donated the trophy to the All India Football Federation.[3][8] At the time of the first tournament, India lacked a proper main championship for football teams. The other major nationwide football competitions at the time were Durand Cup, Rovers Cup and IFA Shield which were competed by the football clubs.[3] In 1990, in an attempt to bring through more younger players, the AIFF made the Santosh Trophy into an under-23 competition. This move only lasted for three seasons before the tournament was reverted to a senior competition.[3]

During his time as the head coach of India, Bob Houghton called for the tournament to be discontinued and that it was a waste of time and talent.[3] He was more aggressive against the tournament after India striker Sunil Chhetri injured himself in the 2009 Santosh Trophy and had to miss the Nehru Cup.[4] As a result, national team players were not allowed to participate in the tournament, which was also eventually reverted.[3] In 2013 it was revealed that the AIFF decided that players from top-tier clubs would be barred from participating in the Santosh Trophy but numerous players from the reserve and the youth sides of I-League and Indian Super League, participate in the tournament for game-time.[9] The tournament still is regarded as a suitable platform for young players to attract the eyes of scouts of major clubs in the country.[10]

Current teamsEdit

The following teams have participated in the tournament and are still states, union territories, or organizations.

WinnersEdit

FinalsEdit

The following is the list of winners and runners-up from every edition of the Santosh Trophy[11]

Season Host Winner Score Runner-up
1941–42 Kolkata Bengal 5–1 Delhi
1944–45 Delhi Delhi 2–0 Bengal
1945–46 Bombay Bengal 2–0 Bombay
1946–47 Bangalore Mysore 0–0, 2–1 Bengal
1947–48 Kolkata Bengal 0–0, 1–0 Bombay
1949–50 Kolkata Bengal 5–0 Hyderabad
1950–51 Kolkata Bengal 1–0 Hyderabad
1951–52 Bombay Bengal 1–0 Bombay
1952–53 Bangalore Mysore 1–0 Bengal
1953–54 Kolkata Bengal 0–0, 3–1 Mysore
1954–55 Madras Bombay 2–1 Services
1955–56 Ernakulam Bengal 1–0 Mysore
1956–57 Trivandrum Hyderabad 1–1, 4–1 Bombay
1957–58 Hyderabad Hyderabad 3–1 Bombay
1958–59 Madras Bengal 1–0 Services
1959–60 Nowgong Bengal 3–1 Bombay
1960–61 Kozhikode Services 0–0, 1–0 Bengal
1961–62 Bombay Railways 3–0 Bombay
1962–63 Bangalore Bengal 2–0 Mysore
1963–64 Madras Maharashtra 1–0 Andhra Pradesh
1964–65 Guwahati Railways 2–1 Bengal
1965–66 Kollam Andhra Pradesh 1–1, 1–0 Bengal
1966–67 Hyderabad Railways 0–0, 2–0 Services
1967–68 Cuttack Mysore 1–0 Bengal
1968–69 Bangalore Mysore 0–0, 1–0 Bengal
1969–70 Nowgong Bengal 6–1 Services
1970–71 Jalandhar Punjab 1–1, 3–1 Mysore
1971–72 Madras Bengal 4–1 Railways
1972–73 Goa Bengal 4–1 Tamil Nadu
1973–74 Ernakulam Kerala 3–2 Railways
1974–75 Jalandhar Punjab 6–0 Bengal
1975–76 Kozhikode Bengal 0–0, 3–1 Karnataka
1976–77 Patna Bengal 1–0 Maharashtra
1977–78 Kolkata Bengal 1–1, 3–1 Punjab
1978–79 Srinagar Bengal 1–0 Goa
1979–80 Coimbatore Bengal 1–0 Punjab
1980–81 Cuttack Punjab 0–0, 2–0 Railways
1981–82 Thrissur Bengal 2–0 Railways
1982–83 Kolkata Bengal and Goa shared the trophy after 0–0, 0–0 draw
1983–84 Madras Goa 1–0 Punjab
1984–85 Kanpur Punjab 3–0 Maharashtra
1985–86 Jabalpur Punjab 0–0 (4–1 p) Bengal
1986–87 Calcutta Bengal 2–1 Railways
1987–88 Kollam Punjab 0–0 (5–4 p) Kerala
1988–89 Guwahati Bengal 1–1 (4–3 p) Kerala
1989–90 Margao Goa 2–0 Kerala
1990–91 Palakkad Maharashtra 1–0 Kerala
1991–92 Coimbatore Kerala 3–0 Goa
1992–93 Kochi Kerala 2–0 Maharashtra
1993–94 Cuttack Bengal 2–2 (5–3 p) Kerala
1994–95 Chennai Bengal 2–1 (a.s.d.e.t.) Punjab
1995–96 Margao Bengal 1–0 Goa
1996–97 Jabalpur Bengal 1–0 (a.s.d.e.t.) Goa
1997–98 Guwahati Bengal 1–0 Goa
1998–99 Chennai Bengal 5–0 Goa
1999–00 Thrissur Maharashtra 3–2 Kerala
2001–02 Mumbai Kerala 3–2 (a.s.d.e.t.) Goa
2002–03 Imphal Manipur 2–1 (a.s.d.e.t.) Kerala
2004–05 Delhi Kerala 3–2 Punjab
2005–06 Kochi Goa 3–1 (a.e.t.) Maharashtra
2006–07 Gurgaon Punjab 0–0 (a.e.t.) (5–3 p) West Bengal
2007–08 Srinagar Punjab 1–0 Services
2008–09 Chennai Goa 0–0 (a.e.t.) (4–2 p) West Bengal
2009–10 Kolkata West Bengal 2–1 Punjab
2010–11 Assam West Bengal 2–1 Manipur
2011–12 Odisha Services 3–2 Tamil Nadu
2012–13 Kochi Services 0–0 (a.e.t.) (4–3 p) Kerala
2013–14 Siliguri Mizoram 3–0 Railways
2014–15 Ludhiana Services 0–0 (5–4 p) Punjab
2015–16 Nagpur Services 2–1 Maharashtra
2016–17 Goa West Bengal 1–0 Goa
2017–18 Kolkata Kerala 2–2 (4–2 p) West Bengal
2018–19 Ludhiana Services 1–0 Punjab
2021–22 Manjeri Kerala 1–1 (5–4 p) West Bengal

Final appearancesEdit

Team Wins Runners-up Last win
West Bengal (inc. Bengal) 32 14 2016–17
Punjab 8 8 2007–08
Kerala 7 8 2021–22
Services 6 5 2018–19
Goa 5 8 2008–09
Maharashtra (inc. Bombay) 4 12 1999–00
Karnataka (inc. Mysore) 4 5 1968–69
Railways 3 6 1966–67
Andhra Pradesh (inc. Hyderabad) 3 3 1965–66
Delhi 1 1 1944–45
Manipur 1 1 2002–03
Mizoram 1 0 2013–14
Tamil Nadu 0 2 -

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hero Senior NFC". www.the-aiff.com. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  2. ^ Kapadia, Novy (27 May 2012). "Memorable moments in the Santosh Trophy". www.sportskeeda.com. Sportskeeda. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Anand, Vijay (16 March 2014). "The history of Santosh Trophy". SportsKeeda. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "The rise and fall of the Santosh Trophy". Indian Express. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  5. ^ "70th Santosh Trophy". The Indian Football Live. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  6. ^ Majumdar, Boria, Bandyopadhyay, Kausik (1 February 2006). Goalless: The Story of a Unique Footballing Nation. New Delhi: Penguin India. ISBN 9780670058747. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022.
  7. ^ a b "List of Winners/Runners-Up of the Santosh Trophy". IndianFootball.de. Archived from the original on 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ Sengupta, Somnath (24 April 2012). "Legends Of Indian Football : The Pioneers". thehardtackle.com. The Hard Tackle. Archived from the original on 26 October 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  9. ^ "AIFF mulling over Santosh Trophy's future". News 18. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  10. ^ Raghunandan, Vaibhav (24 April 2019). "Santosh Trophy: Where Indian Football's History and Its Future Reside". NewsClick. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Santosh Trophy Winners". RSSSF.