New Delhi: Defending champions East Bengal will kick off their campaign against a qualifier while I-League champions Salgaocar take on Mumbai FC on the inaugural day of the Federation Cup football tournament which begins on September 17 in Kolkata and Pune.

East Bengal, who won the last edition in Cuttack, have been clubbed in Group C along with Dempo, Pune FC and one of the four teams which will make it to the main round from the qualifiers and they will play all their group matches in Kolkata.

Their arch-rivals from Kolkata, Mohun Bagan have been placed in Group A and will also begin their campaign against a qualifier on the inaugural day in Pune.

Pune will also host other Group B matches, including those of Salgaocar, Pailan Arrows, Mumbai FC and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The Group D matches involving Prayag United SC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Air India, Viva Kerala will be held in Kolkata.

The draw for the country's top league-cum-knock-out tournament was held at the AIFF headquarters here in the presence of all club representatives and Asian Football Confederation delegation.

The winners of each group will qualify for the semifinals which will be held in Kolkata on September 25 and 26. The final is slated for September 29 in Kolkata.

The Fixtures:

Group A (At Pune): Sept 17: McDowell Mohun Bagan vs Qualifier B; Churchill Brothers vs Shillong Lajong FC.

Sept 19: Shillong Lajong FC vs McDowell Mohun Bagan; Qualifier B vs Churchill Brothers.

Sept 21: McDowell Mohun Bagan vs Churchill Brothers; Shillong Lajong FC vs Qualifier B.

Group B (At Pune): Sept 18: Pailan Arrows vs HAL; Salgaocar SC vs Mumbai FC Sept 20: Mumbai FC vs Pailan Arrows; HAL vs Salgaocar SC Sept 22: Pailan Arrows vs Salgaocar SC; Mumbai FC vs HAL

Group C (At Kolkata): Sept 17: Kingfisher East Bengal vs Qualifier A; Dempo SC vs Pune FC.

Sept 19: Pune FC vs Kingfisher East Bengal; Qualifier A vs Dempo SC.

Sept 21: Kingfisher East Bengal vs Dempo SC; Pune FC vs Qualifier A.

Group D (At Kolkata): Sept 18: Prayag United SC vs Viva Kerala; Sporting Clube de Goa vs Air India

Sept 20: Air India vs Prayag United SC; Viva Kerala vs Sporting Clube de Goa

Sept 22: Prayag United SC vs Sporting Clube de Goa; Air India vs Viva Kerala

Semifinals (Kolkata):
Sept 25: Group A winner vs Group B winner Sept 26: Group C winner vs Group D winner Final (Kolkata): Sept 29.

(Agencies)