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Bhubaneswar: Adding another feather to its hat, Odisha government’s sports department is all set to host the India-Super Cup, which is being organised for the first time to promote football in the country.

For the first time in the history of Indian football, All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to organise the football championship which will see participation of teams from both the major tournaments -Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League.

Super Cup is all set to begin at Kalinga Stadium with the qualifying matches scheduled to be played on Thursday and Friday.

The main round of the tournament will commence from March 31 with Chennaiyin FC  and Aizwal FC facing each-other in the inaugural match. The final is scheduled to be played on April 20 at Kalinga Stadium.

General Secretary of AIFF Kushal Das said, “We are very pleased that the Government of Odisha is supporting the tournament which helped us to host the event in Bhubaneswar.”

Football Association of Odisha (FAO) and the Sports and Youth Services Department of the State government will jointly organise the inaugural edition of the tourney. The organisers are leaving no stone unturned for making this prestigious tournament a grand success.

“We are thankful to AIFF for giving us the opportunity to host this football tournament which is being held for the very first time in the country,” said FAO President Debashish Samantaray.

As per the format, top six teams each from ISL and I-League have already qualified for the main-round or the pre-quarterfinals. The teams placed at 7th to 10th positions in both the leagues will play the qualifying round matches starting from today, official sources said.

As many as 20 football teams from across the country are going to participate in the championship while 16 top football teams will play in the knock-out round.

Delhi Dynamos will meet Churchill Brothers in the opening game at 17:00 IST while North East United FC and Gokulam Kerala FC will battle it out to qualify for the main round in the next game at Kalinga stadium today.

ISL teams Mumbai City FC and ATK (Kolkata franchise) will cross swords with Indian Arrows and Chennai City FC in both the games tomorrow.

Kalinga Stadium in the capital city hosted its first reputed football game earlier this year when ISL franchise Jamshedpur FC played its home game against Bengaluru FC on February 25.

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