The 123rd IFA shield is going to start from today in the pandemic situation at Kolkata. Eight Kolkata teams and four I-League teams including Mohammedan SC is going to take part in this edition of the IFA Shield but unfortunately thr two Kolkata giants ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal are not a part of this prestigious tournament this year.
Four matches will be going on at the same time in various venues of Bengal. Mohammedan SC who won all their practice matches by big margins will face Kidderpore SC at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan.
Mohammedan gaffer Jose Hevia is quite confident about his team. He confirmed three foreigners out of four who have already joined the squad except Bangladesh star Jamal Bhuiyan. Jamal who is the Captain of the Bangladesh national football team is now engaged in national duties against Qatar for the World Cup Qualifiers. Mohammedan SC star Tirthankar also looked glad to play under their coach. He told that the understanding between all players is very strong and it clearly reflected on their pre season performance.
On the other hand their opponent Kidderpore SC is totally dependent on Indian players. Kidderpore coach Dilip Paul who seemed very much concerned about the Bengali players has offered respect for IFA and their officials for arranging this tournament in this pandemic situation. He thought this tournament comes as a boon to those players who became frustrated after a long gap in football season. He also told that his principal motive in this tournament will be giving opportunities to the young Bengali players and set a great future for them.
Since 2015, this tournament was converted as an Under-19 tournament because of the busy Indian football schedule including ISL, I-League and Super Cup. But this year all the senior teams are allowed to play this tournament where I-League teams got a great opportunity as pre-seasonal practice before the league starts.