Kerala Senior Football Championship to be a knockout event due to budgetary constraints, says Secretary Anilkumar

Kerala Football Association Secretary Anilkumar explains why the juniors and sub-juniors play league-cum-knockout while the seniors don’t.

Published : Aug 31, 2023 13:29 IST , KOCHI - 2 MINS READ

Action from the recent Kerala State junior championship in Kochi.
Action from the recent Kerala State junior championship in Kochi. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Action from the recent Kerala State junior championship in Kochi. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


Over the last couple of weeks, the Kerala Football Association (KFA) has been organising its sub-junior and junior State inter-district championships in a league-cum-knockout format giving players ample exposure.

Surprisingly, the State senior men’s inter-district championship – which begins at the Kottapadi Stadium in Malappuram on Saturday (September 2-9) – will be a knockout affair. The Championship is a selection event to pick the Kerala team for the Santosh Trophy’s preliminary phase in October. But nearly half of the State’s 14 teams will bow out after playing just one match, which is not likely to give the selectors much time to have a proper look at probable prospects. 

However, P. Anilkumar, the general secretary of the KFA, explained that there were multiple reasons for this.

“We have more games with reduced match timings of about 60 to 70 minutes in the sub-junior and junior State championships to give the selectors more time to understand the quality of players. But for seniors, we have to stick to 90-minute matches,” said Anilkumar, in a chat with  Sportstar, on Thursday.

“It will be an expensive affair because senior players will need to have at least 24 hours rest after every match, and if we have a league-cum-knockout event, that will increase the duration of the tournament.


“Now, we have it for nine days (knockout format), but with a league-cum-knockout format, it will go up to 20 or 25 days, and the accommodation and other costs will be triple what we will be having now.

ALSO READ | Chelsea, Everton survive scares in League Cup, Newcastle to play Man City in third round

“In future, we may be able to make the seniors also into a league-cum-knockout event which we are unable to do now because of budgetary constraints.”


Anilkumar also pointed out that the selectors have other events to observe the seniors.

“In the senior level, we are also taking from the clubs because we are watching their matches in the Kerala Premier League and the KPL qualifiers,” he said.

“But the age-group players don’t have such exposure...that is why we had decided to make it a league-cum-knockout for juniors and sub-juniors so that they will get some two to three matches. And the selectors will also have time to spot the best players.”

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment