Kochi: Kerala would host at least 45 matches, including the semifinals and finals of the 67th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy, to be held jointly in the state and Uttar Pradesh from February-March next year.
While Kerala would get 45 matches, UP would host 15, Kerala Football Association president KMI Mather told reporters.
In Kerala, Kochi and Kollam are the venues and the matches are likely to be held from the second week of February to first week of March.
Efforts are on to organise some preliminary round matches in one of the cities in football loving Malabar region -- Kozhikode, Kannur or Manjeri -- subject to clearance from the All India Football Federation, he said.
A decision in this regard is expected to be made by respective district associations in Malabar within three days, he said.
Kerala Fisheries minister K Babu, also the president of Ernakulam District Football Association, has been unanimously elected as the chairman of the organising committee to make the coming National championship a great success, he said.
Babu said final round matches, including semifinals and finals, will be played under floodlights at the Nehru stadium here.
Mather said KFA would make efforts to ensure the formation of the state team to bring back the glory of football to the state. A 45-day coaching camp for 50 players is scheduled to begin on Dec 28. The camp is most likely to be held at LNCP campus at Thiruvananthapuram.