Republic Day Cup also known as Nitu Mandke Invitation Cup organized by Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) will kick off on 24th January.
One of the two regular annual cup events conducted by the MDFA – Republic Day Cup, other being Independence Day Cup; will kick off on 24th January with the final to be held on 26th January i.e. Republic Day.
16 teams involving the likes of Footie First, Mumbai Marines, Anushaktinagar and others will be vying for the cup. The eleven side event is one of the few cup events in which lower division clubs get to ply their trade against top teams of the city. The three-day event will be a Knockout format tournament with the Round of 16 matches on the first day. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place on the second day followed by the final on Republic Day.
The matches will consist of two halves of 20 minutes each. In case of a draw, the tie will be decided by a penalty shoot-out, with no extra time allotted. The cup will have the rule of substitution by rotation, allowing the coaches unlimited substitutions during the match.
The Republic Day Cup is held in the honour of late Dr Nityananda Mandke, one of India’s finest Heart Surgeon, the tournament was started by MDFA, back in the year 2004, in recognition of his notable contribution to the city as well as the country. Dr Mandke was boxing champion, captain of the football team and a record-holding distance runner, during his college days. He was adjudged the best all-rounder student of Pune University in the year 1970.
HDFC won the tournament last year defeating Millat FC 3-0 in the final. The previous winners of the prestigious Republic Day Cup include Air India U-19 (2017) and Mumbai FC U-20 (2016).
The complete schedule of the Republic Day Cup 2019 is as follows:
Catch all the action from the Republic Day Cup 2019 live at the St. Xavier’s Football Ground in Parel from 24 January 2019.