Santosh Trophy

Last updated

Santosh Trophy
Founded1941;80 years ago (1941)
Number of teams31
Current champions Services (6th title)
Most successful team(s) West Bengal (32 titles)
Soccerball current event.svg 2019–20

The Santosh Trophy is an association football knock-out competition contested by the regional state associations and government institutions under the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport's governing body in India. Before the start of the first national club league, the National Football League, in 1996, the Santosh Trophy was considered the top domestic championship in India. [1] Many players who have represented India internationally played and gained accolades while playing in the Santosh Trophy. [2] The tournament is held every year with 31 teams who are divided into groups and who must qualify for the tournament proper through the preliminary round. [3] The current champions are Services, who won their 6th title during the 2018–19 edition.


The tournament was started in 1941 and is named after the president of the Indian Football Association (West Bengal's football association) at the time, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh. [1] The IFA were the ones who donated the Santosh Trophy. The runner-up trophy was also donated by an ex-IFA president, S.K. Gupta. The trophy is known as the Kamla Gupta Trophy. [4] The third-place trophy, the Sampangi Cup, was donated by the Karnataka State Football Association (then the Mysore Football Association). [4]


The Santosh Trophy was started in 1941 after the then president of the Indian Football Association, West Bengal's football association, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh and Sir Satish Chandra Chowdhury donated the trophy. [1] At the time of the first tournament, India lacked a proper main championship for football teams. The other two main competitions at the time were the Durand Cup, Rovers Cup, and the IFA Shield and they were played by club sides. [1] In 1990, in an attempt to bring through more younger players, the All India Football Federation made the Santosh Trophy into an under-23 competition. This move only lasted for three seasons before the tournament was reverted to a senior competition. [1]

During his time as the head coach of India, Bob Houghton called for the tournament to be discontinued and that it was a waste of time and talent. [1] He was more aggressive against the tournament after India striker Sunil Chhetri injured himself in the 2009 Santosh Trophy and had to miss the Nehru Cup. [2] As a result, national team players were not allowed to participate in the tournament. This was also eventually reverted. [1] In 2013 it was revealed that the AIFF decided that I-League players would not be allowed to participate in the Santosh Trophy. [5]

Current sides

The following teams have participated in the tournament and are still states, union territories, or organizations.


The following is the list of winners and runners-up from every edition of the Santosh Trophy [6]

1941–42 Kolkata Bengal 5–1 Delhi
1944–45 Delhi Delhi 2–0 Bengal
1945–46 Bombay Bengal 2–0 Bombay
1946–47 Bangalore Mysore 0–0 (2–1) West Bengal
1947–48 Kolkata Bengal 0–0 (1–0) Bombay
1949–50 Kolkata Bengal 5–0 Hyderabad
1950–51 Kolkata Bengal 1–0 Hyderabad
1951–52 Bombay Bengal 1–0 Bombay
1952–53 Bangalore Mysore 1–0 Bengal
1953–54 Kolkata Bengal 0–0 (3–1) Mysore
1954–55 Madras Bombay 2–1 Services
1955–56 Ernakulam Bengal 1–0 Mysore
1956–57 Trivandrum Hyderabad 1–1 (4–1) Bombay
1957–58 Hyderabad Hyderabad 3–1 Bombay
1958–59 Madras Bengal 1–0 Services
1959–60 Nowgong Bengal 3–1 Bombay
1960–61 Kozhikode Services 0–0 (1–0) Bengal
1961–62 Bombay Railways 3–0 Bombay
1962–63 Bangalore Bengal 2–0 Mysore
1963–64 Madras Maharashtra 1–0 Andhra Pradesh
1964–65 Guwahati Railways 2–1 West Bengal
1965–66 Kollam Andhra Pradesh 1–1 (1–0) West Bengal
1966–67 Hyderabad Railways 0–0 (2–0) Services
1967–68 Cuttack Mysore 1–0 West Bengal
1968–69 Bangalore Mysore 0–0 (1–0) West Bengal
1969–70 Nowgong West Bengal 6–1 Services
1970–71 Jalandhar Punjab 1–1 (3–1) Mysore
1971–72 Madras West Bengal 4–1 Railways
1972–73 Goa West Bengal 4–1 Tamil Nadu
1973–74 Ernakulam Kerala 3–2 Railways
1974–75 Jalandhar Punjab 6–0 West Bengal
1975–76 Kozhikode West Bengal 0–0 (3–1) Karnataka
1976–77 Patna West Bengal 1–0 Maharashtra
1977–78 Kolkata West Bengal 1–1 (3–1) Punjab
1978–79 Srinagar West Bengal 1–0 Goa
1979–80 Coimbatore West Bengal 1–0 Punjab
1980–81 Cuttack Punjab 0–0 (2–0) Railways
1981–82 Thrissur West Bengal 2–0 Railways
1982–83 Kolkata West Bengal and Goa shared the trophy after 0–0 draw
1983–84 Madras Goa 1–0 Punjab
1984–85 Kanpur Punjab 3–0 Maharashtra
1985–86 Jabalpur Punjab 0–0 (4–1 pen) West Bengal
1986–87 Calcutta West Bengal 2–1 Railways
1987–88 Kollam Punjab 0–0 (5–4 pen) Kerala
1988–89 Guwahati West Bengal 1–1 (4–3 pen) Kerala
1989–90 Margao Goa 2–0 Kerala
1990–91 Palakkad Maharashtra 1–0 Kerala
1991–92 Coimbatore Kerala 3–0 Goa
1992–93 Kochi Kerala 2–0 Maharashtra
1993–94 Cuttack West Bengal 2–2 (5–3 pen) Kerala
1994–95 Chennai West Bengal 2–1 Punjab
1995–96 Margao West Bengal 1–0 Goa
1996–97 Jabalpur West Bengal 1–0 Goa
1997–98 Guwahati West Bengal 5–1 Goa
1998–99 Chennai West Bengal 1–0 Goa
1999–00 Thrissur Maharashtra 3–2 Kerala
2001–02 Mumbai Kerala 3–2 Goa
2002–03 Imphal Manipur 2–1 Kerala
2004–05 Delhi Kerala 3–2 Punjab
2005–06 Kochi Goa 3–1 Maharashtra
2006–07 Gurgaon Punjab 0–0 (5–3 pen) West Bengal
2007–08 Srinagar Punjab 1–0 Services
2008–09 Chennai Goa 0–0 (4–2 pen) West Bengal
2009–10 Kolkata West Bengal 2–1 Punjab
2010–11 Assam West Bengal 2–1 Manipur
2011–12 Odisha Services 3–2 Tamil Nadu
2012–13 Kochi Services 0–0 (4–3 pen) Kerala
2013–14 Siliguri Mizoram 3–0 Railways
2014–15 Ludhiana Services 0–0 (5–4 pen) Punjab
2015–16 Nagpur Services 2–1 Maharashtra
2016–17 Goa West Bengal 1–0 Goa
2017–18 Kolkata Kerala 2–2 (4–2 pen) West Bengal
2018–19 Ludhiana Services 1–0 Punjab

Final appearances

TeamWinsRunners-upLast win
West Bengal 32132016–17
Punjab 882007–08
Kerala 682017–18
Services 652018–19
Goa 582008–09
Karnataka (as Mysore)451968–69
Railways 361966–67
Maharashtra 351999–00
Andhra Pradesh (as Hyderabad)221957–58
Bombay 171954–55
Andhra Pradesh 111965–66
Delhi 111944–45
Manipur 112002–03
Mizoram 102013–14

Player records

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Anand, Vijay (16 March 2014). "The history of Santosh Trophy". SportsKeeda. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 "The rise and fall of the Santosh Trophy". Indian Express. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  3. "70th Santosh Trophy". The Indian Football Live. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  4. 1 2 "List of Winners/Runners-Up of the Santosh Trophy:".
  5. "AIFF mulling over Santosh Trophy's future". News 18. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  6. "Santosh Trophy Winners". RSSSF.
  7. 1 2 3 "From the History Book". The All India Football Federation. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2016.