Kolkata: The 131st Durand Cup Football will be held in Guwahati, with Imphal as the additional host city for the legendary football tournament. The tournament kicks off on August 16, 2022 at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) in Kolkata, with the final on September 18, 2022 at the same sacred site.
This marks the first time Asia’s oldest football tournament will be played in the states of Assam and Manipur, officials said.
The 131st Durand will also be bigger this year, from 16 to 20 teams.
The Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati and Imphal’s Khuman Lampak Stadium will host the tournament alongside the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata and Naihati Stadium in the North 24-Parganas district of West Bengal.
The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, “Home of Indian Football”, will host 10 matches, including the opening blockbuster – the Kolkata derby – between ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, as well as all seven knockout matches culminating in the grand final . Guwahati and Imphal will host one of the four groups and a total of 10 matches each.
Lieutenant General KK Repswal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Chief of Staff of the Eastern Command and Chairman of the Durand Organizing Committee shared his thoughts on the occasion and said: “The Durand Cup football tournament is a very proud tradition of the Indian Armed Forces and the Indian Army take immense pride in hosting this more than a century old masterpiece. We had already indicated last year that we wanted to increase the reach of the Durand Cup and we are very happy that we were able to achieve that this year. It would not have been possible without the enthusiastic and proactive support of the three state governments.”
“In addition to 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 first time a Trophy Tour with four cities to increase support for the tournament and attract more fans,” he concluded.
Sunando Dhar, acting general secretary of AIFF, shared his view, saying: “It is heartwarming to see Durand regain his place of honor in Indian football with a full-fledged 20-team Cup tournament played across three states of India. . The AIFF has always promoted a longer football calendar for the sake of the game, and the footballers and even meeting the AFC Champions League criteria and a competitive cup tournament like Durand was just what the doctor ordered I congratulate the organizers on their brilliant effort and looking forward to some eye-catching football.”
This Durand Cup edition will also see the return of spectators for the entire tournament for the first time since the pandemic. FC Goa had beaten Mohammedan Sporting in the final of the 130th edition last year to win the Cup in front of a packed VYBK after spectators were admitted to the last three knockout matches.
About Durand Cup
A symbol of India’s football history and culture, the Durand Cup is the oldest and third oldest football tournament in the world, held between 16 top Indian football clubs in different divisions. Organized by the Indian Armed Forces, the Durand Cup has been the breeding ground for India’s best football talent over the years.
The first edition took place in Shimla in 1888, when it started out as an Army Cup, open only to the British Indian Army forces in India, but soon opened 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 were the most successful teams, winning the tournament 16 times each .
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