Kolkata: One of the oldest football tournaments in India, Durand Cup is back after the pandemic but is not going to be held at the traditional home of Durand Cup, Delhi, but in Kolkata.
It was decided back in 2019 that the new host of the tournament could be Kolkata.
The Army claimed that Durand Cup is the third oldest tournament in the world but unfortunately this tournament lost its popularity in the national capital.
The principal reason being the prolonged absence of Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Hence the army made the decision to shift the tournament to Kolkata.
According to the army, the other top Indian clubs will participate in a total 16-team Durand Cup to be staged at Yuva Bharati Krirangan (YBK), Mohun Bagan ground and Kalyani stadiums. Fourteen matches will be played at the YBK, 9 at Mohun Bagan ground and 6 at Kalyani Stadium.
This was announced in a press conference at the Fort William in Maidan on Thursday. This year’s Durand Cup will begin on September 5 with the Mohammedan Sporting-Air Force fixture at YBK.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the tournament that will end on October 3. The Durand Cup will be held in Kolkata for the next five years, said the Indian Army officials.
“Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are not able to take part in Durand Cup this time because of their problems. However, the best teams in the country are taking part. The state government is with Durand. Hopefully, it will go on smoothly,” West Bengal sports minister Aroop Biswas said.
Air Force Football Team, Mohammedan Sporting, CRPF, FC Bangalore United.
Jamshedpur Football Club, Sudeba Delhi Football Club, Army Green Football Team.
Delhi Football Club, Indian Navy Football Team, Bangalore Football Club, Kerala Blasters.
Assam Rifles Football Team, Army Red Football Team, Hyderabad Football Club. Gokulam Kerala Football Club.