The 129th edition of the prestigious Durand Cup is all set to kick-off in Kolkata on August 2. Back after a gap of two years, the oldest tournament in Asia will get a facelift with 16 teams participating in the meet, including five Indian Super League clubs, six I-League clubs, one I-League 2nd division club and four teams from the Indian Army. Delhi has been the home of the Durand Cup, but for a change, Kolkata, ‘The Mecca of Indian Football’ will host the tournament.
The Durand Football Tournament started at Dagshai in 1888, by Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, the then Foreign Secretary to the Government of India. He aimed to encourage and inspire sporting competitions in Indian among the British Indian Army troops. Royal Scots Fusiliers were the first-ever champions of the century-old competition.
In 1940, the Durand Committee decided to stage the tournament in Delhi. In that year itself, Mohammedan Sporting Club won the Cup, thus becoming the first Indian civilian club to achieve the feat. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have won the Durand Cup 16 times each, the most by any team. Army Green is the defending champions, having won the 2016 edition via a penalty shoot-out against NEROCA FC.
The tournament has been scheduled with the consultation of the All India Football Federation and the FSDL.
Army Red, Bengaluru FC, East Bengal, Jamshedpur FC
Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting Club, ATK, Indian Navy
Chennai City FC, FC Goa, Real Kashmir FC, Army Green,
Gokulam FC, Chennaiyin FC, TRAU FC, Indian Air Force
Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)
Mohun Bagan Ground
East Bengal Ground
For the full list of matches, click here
Old foes Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting Club will kick-start the Durand Cup at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium next Friday. It will a busy month for Kolkata’s ‘big three’ because they will be simultaneously participating in the Calcutta Football League as well. Nevertheless, the curtain-raiser promises to be a cracker. The opening match will be graced by the presence of the honourable chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee.
Arch-rivals East Bengal will be in action the following day at their club ground against Army Red. The Kalyani Stadium will host Group ‘C’ fixtures while most of Group ‘D’s matches will be played at the Howrah Stadium.
Winners of Group ‘A’ will play the winners of Group ‘D’ in the semi-finals, while the Group ‘B’ toppers will face-off the leaders from Group ‘C.’ The final will be played on August 24th at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Addatimes App, DD Sports may telecast, although there is no official confirmation
Star Network, Addatimes AppPublished 29 Jul 2019, 08:00 IST