Kerala Blasters FC is gearing up to make its debut in the 130th edition of the 2021 Durand Cup. The Kochi-based club will be amongst the five Indian Super League (ISL) teams set to be part of the prestigious competition. The Durand Cup will be held in Kolkata between September 5 and October 3, 2021.
"We are very pleased to participate in this year’s Durand Cup. Hope that we will have good games ahead as it is very important to play games in this part of pre-season. The tournament format could be an extra motivation for our players because we like to compete," said Ivan Vukomanović, Head Coach of KBFC.
The Kerala team would like to overcome a lone goal defeat against Kerala United FC in their first pre-season match on Friday. The Blasters began their training three weeks ago for this year's ISL and their foreign players are yet to join the team.
They play Kerala United, the Kerala Premier League semifinalist, again on August 27 and Jammu and Kashmir Bank FC on September 3 to complete their pre-season preparations.
All you need to know about Durand Cup 2021
Hosted by the Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS), the Durand Cup is an initiative of the Indian Army which began in the year 1888. It remains one of the most prestigious football tournaments and the champion of the Durand Cup will receive three unique trophies: The President’s Cup, The Durand Cup and The Shimla Trophy.
This year's Durand Cup will see five ISL and three I-League teams among the 16 battling it out for the coveted trophy.
The ISL clubs include Kerala Blasters, FC Goa, Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC. Mohammedan Sporting will be the biggest name on the cards from the I-League. The Kolkata-based team were the first Indian winners of the Cup in 1940. Gokulam Kerala, I-League defending champions, and Sudeva FC of Delhi will contest in the Durand Cup.
Venues identified for the iconic tournament in Kolkata include the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), the Mohun Bagan Club Ground and the Kalyani Municipal Stadium Ground.
Durand Cup 2021 groups
Group A: Bengaluru United, CRPF, Mohammedan, Indian Air Force.
Group B: Army Green, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC, Sudeva Delhi.
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Group C: Delhi FC, Bengaluru FC, Indian Navy, Kerala Blasters.
Group D: Army Red, Gokulam Kerala, Hyderabad FC, Assam Rifles.