President of India unveils the Durand Cup trophies and Flags Off the Trophy Tour for the 133rd edition of the prestigious tournament -
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President of India unveils the Durand Cup trophies and Flags Off the Trophy Tour for the 133rd edition of the prestigious tournament

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Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi PVSM, AVSM, NM, Chief of the Naval Staff, General Anil Chauhan PVSM UYSM AVSM SM VSM ADC, Chief of Defence Staff, Smt. Draupadi Murmu, Hon. President of India, General Upendra Dwivedi PVSM AVSM, Chief of the Army Staff & Air Marshal Amar Preet Singh PVSM, AVSM, Vice Chief of the Air Staff. at the unveiling of the Durand Cup Trophies (L-R: Durand Cup, President’s Cup, Shimla Trophy).

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: The Hon. President of India, Smt. Draupadi Murmu, unveiled the coveted Durand Cup trophies and flagged off the Trophy Tour for the 133rd edition of the prestigious tournament, at a grand ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre today. In what was a truly historic occasion for Indian sport, as the Hon. President, the First Citizen and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, once again blessed the historic tournament with active participation, a tradition begun long back by none other than the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

In brief remarks, the President alluded to the fact that football was one of the most popular sports in the world and that when professional footballers played in front of thousands, the excitement of players and spectators increased manifold. The Hon. President also extended her best wishes to all the players participating in the 133rd edition of the Durand Cup.

The ceremony also saw the presence of the General Anil Chauhan PVSM UYSM AVSM SM VSM ADC, Chief of Defence Staff, General Upendra Dwivedi PVSM AVSM, Chief of the Army Staff, Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi PVSM, AVSM, NM, Chief of the Naval Staff and Air Marshal Amar Preet Singh PVSM, AVSM, Vice Chief of the Air Staff.

Sharing his thoughts on the momentous occasion, Lt. Gen. Ram Chander Tiwari, UYSM, AVSM, SM, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command and the patron of the tournament, said, “It is indeed a huge honour today for all of us and a huge occasion for Indian football. I do not think any sport or tournament in India has had this honour of the Hon. President unveiling the trophies or flagging-off the trophy tour. It shows the deep respect the Hon. President has for Armed Forces traditions and legacy. The responsibility is now on us to deliver to the highest expectations of all and we are confident of doing so. We thank the Hon. President once again for her grace.”

Smt. Draupadi Murmu, Hon. President of India, flagging-off the 133rd Durand Cup Trophy Tour.

Among other key dignitaries present were Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri, team owner and actor John Abraham. Also present were representatives of all the host State Governments of Assam, Meghalaya, Jharkhand and West Bengal, officials from the All India Football Federation, as well as top management and officials of the partners and sponsors of the tournament like IndianOil, Coal India, State Bank of India and the Sony Sports Network.

The Durand Cup, is one of the oldest and most prestigious football tournaments in India. It has a rich history dating back to 1888 and has been a platform to discover some of the most talented football players in the country.

The 132nd edition of the IndianOil  Durand Cup was won by Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) football club of Kolkata, who defeated their city rivals East Bengal Football Club (EBFC) 1-0 in the final. The winning goal was scored by Dimitri Petratos in the 71st minute, ending MBSG’s 23-year title drought and making them the most successful team in Durand Cup history.

The 133rd edition is set to begin in Kolkata on July 27, with Kokrajhar (Assam), Shillong (Meghalaya) and Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) also hosting many of the 43 games this year.

 

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. Organized by the Indian Army on behalf of the three Services, 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 and then the tournament moved to New Delhi in 1940, where it was held till 2016.

In 2019, the tournament came under the aegis of the Eastern Command and moved to the eastern part of the country, with Kolkata, the Mecca of Indian football and the Eastern Command Headquarters, being the home base.

What makes the Durand Cup even more unique is that the winners get three trophies, two rotating (Durand Cup and Shimla Trophy) and one for permanent keep (President’s Cup).

As we embark on this exciting journey over the coming weeks, let us celebrate the beautiful game of football, honour the traditions of the Durand Cup, and look forward to witnessing moments of brilliance that will be etched in our memories forever.

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