Shillong, Nov 10: Meghalaya have been allotted the hosting rights of the North East zonal round of the Sub-Junior National Football Championship 2020-21 but holding the competition will depend on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Last year the North East zonal round was held in Manipur. Meghalaya qualified from there and went on to win the national event last December in Kolkata.
While football training is permitted in Meghalaya, “competitive sports events” are still prohibited because of the risk of spreading Covid-19. Bringing together several teams from the North East for the zonal round will almost certainly require arrangements for travel, testing the players and officials and keeping them in a safe bio-bubble type of accommodation for the duration of their stay.
Meanwhile, Assam have been put down as hosts for the North East zonals of the 2020-21 Santosh Trophy, while Karnataka will hold the Tier 1 round of the Junior National Football Championship for the Dr BC Roy Trophy. Shillong had hosted this tournament last season and Meghalaya ended third.
The All India Football Federation had to postpone the 2019-20 Santosh Trophy final round because of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year. It now plans to hold the delayed tournament in April, again only if the Covid-19 situation in the host state of Mizoram allows for it. Meghalaya have also qualified for this senior men’s competition.