The Santosh Trophy 2022-23 semifinals and final will be hosted by the renowned King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed on Thursday.
The Santosh trophy semis and final are scheduled to be played between March 1-4.
“We wanted an iconic destination [for the Santosh trophy semifinals and final] and the Saudi Football Federation suggested that we organise it in Riyadh. That way we can engage the Indian community and the local community. It is an iconic stadium, and it would present the Santosh Trophy at a global level,” said AIFF general secretary, Shaji Prabhakaran to Sportstar.
“The idea is to bring back the focus on the Santosh Trophy and when we are taking the tournament out internationally, definitely it will generate more interest and curiosity. Also, the competitiveness is increasing, and every state is trying to reach the top four,” he added.
“For many players, this will be their first time travelling to a foreign country. That way they will also have extra motivation. It will also generate interest in the locality from where these players belong,” Prabhakaran said.
The Santosh Trophy 2022-23 is the 76th edition of the tournament. Kerala is the defending champion after it beat West Bengal 5-4 on penalties in last year’s final.