History of Santosh Trophy
The tournament first began in 1941. The trophy is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, (which is now in Bangladesh), who had been the President of the Indian Football Association, the football organization of Bengal and the donators of the trophy.
Format of Santosh Trophy
The competition has seen a few changes in the format as the years passed by. In the present format, there is a qualifying round involving eight groups of three or four teams each. The eight winners from each group are then drawn along with four seeded teams, who do not have to come through qualifying, and these twelve teams are then divided into four groups of three each. This is the quarterfinal league stage, in which each of the three teams in the group plays with each other. The winners of each group then move to the semifinals. The semifinals and the final are single-legged fixtures, with extra time, golden goal and penalty shootout, if required.
Winners of Santosh Trophy
West Bengal has won the title 31 times and finished second on twelve occasions. Second to them is Punjab, who have won the trophy eight times and finished second in seventh trophy. Both Kerela and Goa comes to the third position in this tally as both of them have won five times each. The winner of Santosh Trophy in the year 2015 had been Services, who defeated Punjab in penalties. Inder Singh from Punjab had been the highest scorer in the tournament with 45 goals.
AIFF spends one crore rupees to conduct the whole tournament. The winner collects a cheque of five lakh rupees. Compared to the money spend in the I-League, this is peanuts. Santosh Trophy carries a special meaning for Mizoram.