Pune: Thirty-four districts set for Inter-District Men’s Football

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Pune 13th December 2022: The city is all set to host the best talent in the State when thirty-four districts will battle for top honours in the Western India Football Association (WIFA) Inter District Men’s (Open) Football Tournament 2022 that begins at the Shiv Chhatrapathi Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, on Wednesday.


The tournament hosted by the Poona District Football Association (PDFA) returns to the city after a gap of three years, with the last being back in 2018.


Host’s Pune District who were semifinalists in the last edition will be looking to improve their position, and will be up against the strong challenge of defending champions Kolhapur and Nagpur apart from Mumbai.


The tournament will be played on a knock out basis before curtains will be drawn on the seven-day event on 20th December 2022.


PDFA Honorary Secretary, Pradeep Pardeshi informed, “It’s an honour to host this blue riband event of WIFA. The response from all member districts has been total which in itself speaks of how popular the game is.”


The tournament will be played on two grounds within the complex precinct.


Pardeshi added, “we have an eight-match schedule – four on each ground for the first three days followed by the semifinals and then the final after a day’s rest. A total of 33 matches are on cards.”


WIFA Treasurer and PDFA Vice President, Pyarelal Choudhary said, “Firstly, I would like to thank our supporters which includes the Abhijit Kadam Memorial Foundation, Druva and Omtex for their backing for the event. A special mention about the readiness of City FC Pune, Aspire India, Game of Goal, Ryan Sports to come forward in their own way and take on responsibility in kind. Similarly, the Sports Commissioner for helping with the venue and world class grounds (pitches) to have this tournament, which will only go on to help the players stay attuned with best playing surface practices.”


The tournament will be inaugurated by Sports Commissioner Suhas Divse, IAS in the presence of Dr. Vishwajeet Kadam, Vice President – WIFA and President – PDFA and Souter Vaz Honorary Secretary – WIFA.


PDFA, meanwhile, announced its 20-member squad for the tournament which includes players of all affiliated units/ teams of the association.


The team will be led by experienced and ex I-League player Shrikant Molangiri.


Pune open their campaign against Beed on Thursday 15th December.



Shivam Padnekar, Srihari Jhadhav (Goalkeepers); Philip Desa, Harshad Gawande, Swatej Vankudre, Tushar Desai, Siddhant Pranay, Glenn Rebello, Rutvij Velagg , Jeevan Rawat (Defenders); Ayush Deepak, Shrikant Molangiri, Hritik Patil, Narshimha Magham, Shivraj Patil (Midfielders); Sumit Bhandari, Satish Hawaldar, Pratik Patil (Wingers), Hrishikesh Khedekar, Sudheesh M (Striker). Stand By: Harsh Utekar, Suraj Singh, Yogesh Rawat. Head Coach: Raj More; Manager: Alok Sharma.



Ground-1: Nashik v Gadchiroli – 8.30 am; Nanded v Amravati – 10.30 am; Sindhudurg v Parbhani – 1.00 pm; Nandurbar v Latur 3.00 pm;

Ground-2: Aurangabad v Gondia – 8.30; Raigad v Palghar – 10.30 am; Ahmednagar v Thane – 1.00 pm; Osmanabad v Washim – 3.00 pm