Ronaldinho ambassador for Nagjee tournament

The Nagjee international club football tournament is seen as a revival of the Sait Nagjee all-India championship, which was very popular over two decades ago. Some of the top European and Latin American clubs have confirmed participation in the tournament.

Former Brazilian star Ronaldinho will be the brand ambassador of the Nagjee tournament.   -  AP

The Corporation Stadium, which will host top international clubs at the Nagjee international club football tournament from February 5.   -  S. RAMESH KURUP

The Nagjee international club football tournament will be held at the Corporation Stadium here from February 5 to 21. The English Premier League team Watford FC, Hertha BSC and TSV 1860 Munich from the Bundesliga and Levante UD from La Liga are among those who have confirmed participation.

“It is the first time that top European and Latin American clubs are coming to India for a tournament,” said Hifsu Rehman, chairman, Mondial Sports LLP, at a press conference here on Monday. “We hope to revive the glorious football tradition of Kozhikode with this tournament.”

A joint venture of Mondial and the Kozhikode District Football Association (KDFA), the tournament is seen as a revival of the popular Sait Nagjee all-India football championship, the last edition of which was held over two decades ago.

Clube Atletico Paranaense Rapid (Brazil), Bucharest (Romania) and Argentina’s national Under-23 team would also take part in the tournament, which is an eight-team affair.

“The eighth team will be an I-League team,” said KDFA secretary P. Haridas. “We will finalise the Indian team within a couple of days.”

Former Brazilian star Ronaldinho will be the brand ambassador of the tournament. “He will come here for the event,” said Hifsu. “We hope to bring back the football glory of Kerala with this tournament. Though this is the first project of Mondial in India, we have been conducting football tournaments in Saudi Arabia, where we are based, for the last several years.”

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