Asia’s oldest football tournament, the Durand Cup, will get underway from September 5 across three venues in Kolkata. The 130th edition of the competition will be contested by 16 teams, including 5 of those from the Indian Super League.
The participating teams have been drawn into four groups of four teams each, with the top two from every group progressing to the quarterfinals.
The headline act of Group A are Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting who will have the biggest support. The I-League side were the first Indian winners of the Durand Cup.
Joining them are I-League II side FC Bengaluru United who have built a strong enough side to win this group and progress. The Indian Air Force football team and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) make up the rest of Group A.
Group B seems to have a better competitive edge with two ISL sides – FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC – locking horns. Goa have named a full-strength squad and will be favorites for the trophy. Delhi-based Sudeva FC, fresh from a debut I-League campaign, will look to give the ISL sides a run for their money. The fourth team in Group are Army Green, who won the Durand Cup in 2016.
Another group to look forward to is Group C which sees ISL sides Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters going head-to-head. The latter have also fielded their first-team squad and will be aiming to win the Durand Cup. Delhi FC, who will compete in the I-League Second Division later this year, are the third team in this group. The Indian Navy football team completes the numbers.
The final group, Group D, sees defending Durand Cup champions Gokulam Kerala FC paired with Hyderabad FC, Assam Rifles and Army Red. On paper, this looks like easy pickings for the I-League champions but the Hyderabad youngsters would want to prove them wrong.
The opening game will see local heroes Mohammedan Sporting take on the Indian Air Force at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium at 3 pm on September 5.
Which clubs are participating in Durand Cup 2021?
The 16 teams taking part are – Assam Rifles, Army Green, Army Red, Bengaluru FC, CRPF, Delhi FC, FC Bengaluru United, FC Goa, Gokulam Kerala FC, Hyderabad FC, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters, Mohammedan Sporting and Sudeva FC
Which are the ISL clubs playing in Durand Cup 2021?
Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters
What are the groups in Durand Cup 2021?
Group A – Indian Air Force, FC Bengaluru United, CRPF, Mohammedan Sporting
Group B - Army Green, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC, Sudeva FC
Group C - Bengaluru FC, Delhi FC, Indian Navy, Kerala Blasters
Group D - Assam Rifles, Army Red, Gokulam Kerala, Hyderabad FC
Where is Durand Cup 2021 being held?
The tournament will be held across three venues - the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Kalyani Municipality Stadium and the Mohun Bagan Club Ground.
What is the format of the Durand Cup?
The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals, which will be held between September 23 and 25. The two semi-finals are scheduled for the 27th and 29th, while the final will be played on October 3.
Which club has the most Durand Cup titles?
Mohun Bagan and East Bengal each have 16 Durand Cup titles to their names.