The 66th edition of National Football Tournament Santosh Trophy 2012 will be held in Odisha and is slated to start from 11th May 2012.
The tournament will be inaugurated on 11th May 2012 simultanously in four different venues, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Sambalpur and Bargarh.
The AIFF had initially decided to make Santosh Trophy only for players in the U23 age group in order to give new players an opportunity to showcase their talents. But the AIFF faced stern protest from State Associations and this made the AIFF to change the format in a meeting that was held recently.
Thus, Santosh Trophy 2012 will include senior players, participating in the state teams. Also, the AIFF has decided to have 16 teams playing in the finals and 8 teams who participated in the previous edition will get a direct entry.
Odisha being the host will gain a direct entry and rest of the 7 places will be filled by qualifications.
The 16 teams, however, will be divided into 4 groups and will be playing in round-robin format. The top teams from each group will earn a place in the semi-final.
On 11th of May 2012, the main event will kick off and the final will be played on 27th of May 2012.