131st Durand Cup to reach Assam and Manipur in Football without Borders push -

131st Durand Cup to reach Assam and Manipur in Football without Borders push

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Khel Today Bureau

KOLKATA : The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 131st Durand Cup football tournament, today announced Guwahati and Imphal as additional host cities for the legendary football tournament, scheduled to kick-off on August 16, 2022, at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), with the final slated at the same hallowed venue on September 18, 2022. It will be for the first time that Asia’s oldest football tournament will be played in the states of Assam and Manipur.

The 131st Durand will also be bigger this year, going up from 16 to 20 teams.

The Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati and Imphal’s Khuman Lampak stadium will be the newest tournament hosts alongside the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata and the Naihati Stadium in North 24-Paraganas district of West Bengal.

The “Home of Indian Football” the VYBK will play host to 10 games including the opening blockbuster-the Kolkata derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, as well as all seven knockout games culminating in the Grand Finale. Guwahati and Imphal will host one of the four groups and a total of 10 games each.

Sharing his thoughts on the occasion Lt. Gen. K.K. Repswal, Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal, Chief of Staff, Eastern Command and Chairman Durand Organising Committee, said, “The Durand Cup Football Tournament is a very proud tradition of the Indian Armed forces and the Indian Army takes immense pride in organizing this more than a century old masterpiece. We had expressed last year that we wanted to expand the reach of the Durand Cup and we are extremely happy that we have been able to achieve the same this year. It would not have been possible without the enthusiastic and proactive support of the three State Govts.

“Besides the new host cities and venues, The 131st Durand Cup Edition will see many other firsts including participation from all ISL teams, a team from the Royal State of Rajasthan and also for the very first time a four-city Trophy Tour to rev up support for the tournament and engage more fans,” he concluded.

Also sharing his views was Mr. Sunando Dhar, Acting General Secretary, AIFF, saying, “It is heart-warming to see Durand get back its pride of place in Indian Football with a full-fledged 20-team Cup tournament being played across three States of India. The AIFF has always propagated a longer Footballing calendar in the best interests of the game, the footballers and even to meet the AFC Champions League criteria and a curtain raising competitive Cup tournament like Durand was just what the doctor ordered. I congratulate the organisers on their brilliant effort and look forward to some eye-catching football.”

This Durand Cup edition will also see the return of spectators for the entire length of the tournament for the first time post the pandemic. FC Goa had beaten Mohammedan Sporting in the final of the 130th edition to win the Cup last year in-front of a packed VYBK after spectators were allowed in for the final three knockout games.

For regular updates on the Durand cup please follow ‘THEDURANDCUP’ on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter/ Koo/.

 

About Durand Cup

A symbol of India’s football history and culture, the Durand Cup is Asia’s oldest and the world’s third oldest football tournament, held between 16 top Indian football clubs across divisions. Organized by the Indian Armed Forces, the Durand Cup has been the breeding ground for India’s best footballing talent, over the years.

The inaugural edition happened in Shimla in 1888, when it started off as an Army Cup, open only to the British Indian Army troops in India, but soon opened up to civilian teams. Named after its founder, Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary of British India from 1884 to 1894, the iconic tournament reached its 130th edition in 2021. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have been the most successful teams, winning the tournament 16 times each.

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