Not all is good for the organisers of the inaugural Premier Futsal league which is now set to be held from July 15 to 24 with less teams and across two venues, then only six city-based teams play each other in two groups and then knockouts in Chennai and Goa.
Originally the tournament had been planned as an eight city competition with Delhi and Hyderabad now no longer part of the inaugural edition and four of the participating teams robbed of home advantage due to the logistics and other issues of doing a pan-India competition in year one.
But despite these issues and also losing Portugal legend Deco due to an injury, the Premier Futsal league has pulled off a coup by getting Ryan Giggs (Mumbai), Ronaldinho (Goa), Hernan Crespo (Kolkata), Paul Scholes (Bengaluru), Michel Salgado (Kochi), and futsal legend Falcao (Chennai) as the leagues marquee players.
The six city-based teams are split into two groups of three each, with Chennai, Mumbai and Kochi (Kerala) forming Group A and Group B would feature Goa, Kolkata and Bengaluru with the tournament to be played over two legs in Chennai and Goa.
There will be three days of futsal in Chennai, from July 15 to 17 featuring six matches with two being played each day at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium.
After a rest day, the tournament continues in Goa at the Peddem Sports Complex in Mapusa. The remaining six group stage encounters will be played from July 19 to 21 before another rest day ahead of the knockout rounds.
The semifinals will be held on July 23 and a day later would be the closing ceremony followed by the final, drawing the curtains on the inaugural Premier Futsal season.
Premier Futsal – Fixtures
First-leg Group Stage
15-Jul-2016: Chennai vs Mumbai, Goa vs Kolkata
16-Jul-2016: Mumbai vs Kochi, Kolkata vs Bengaluru
17-Jul-2016: Kochi vs Chennai, Bengaluru vs Goa
Second-leg Group Stage
19-Jul-2016: Kolkata vs Goa, Mumbai vs Chennai
20-Jul-2016: Bengaluru vs Kolkata, Kochi vs Mumbai
21-Jul-2016: Goa vs Bengaluru, Chennai vs Kochi
23-Jul-2016: Group A Winner vs Group B Runners-up, Group B Winner vs Group A Runners-up
Final (Closing Ceremony)
24-Jul-2016: Winner SF 1 vs Winner SF 2