131st edition of Durand Cup to kick off on Aug 16

The 131st edition of the Durand Cup is poised for a blockbuster opening with defending champions FC Goa taking on Mohammedan Sporting in the first match on August 16th in what will be a repeat of the final of the last edition.

The two will meet in a Group B match at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), which is also the venue for the grand final on September 18, 2022.

All 47 games across four venues and three states will be broadcast live. All games are also broadcast live on the internet. With all 11 Indian Super League (ISL) top tier teams participating, as well as five I-League teams and four services teams, the total number of teams has also increased to 20 from last year’s 16. The prize purses for the winners, runners-up and semi-finalists, as well as the Golden Ball, Golden Boot and Golden Glove winners for Player of the Tournament In a tournament of firsts, Assam and Manipur will join West Bengal as the tournament organizers, which will be the first time that three states will host the legendary tournament. Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Assam and Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal, Manipur will each host 10 group stage matches.

The event also featured a teaser of the tournament’s theme song, soulfully performed by star singers Shaan, Papon and Rewben Mashangva.

On that occasion, Aroop Biswas told the media: “We are delighted that 27 out of 47 Durand Cup matches will be played in Kolkata. Also that the tournament will be held until at least 2025 which is now the number one football tournament in India will be held in West Bengal. So I just want to say that we need your cooperation to make this tournament even more of a success. If you have any suggestions, please provide them to us and we will certainly look into it.

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“Thank you again to the Army for doing such a wonderful job organizing this tournament in our state. In closing, I would like to say that I am aware of some statistics according to which the Durand Cup has been won 16 times by Mohun Bagan and East Bengal which is the highest ever by any team. I hope we can see the 17th win.

Speaking to the audience, Lt. Gen. KK Repswal said: “I, on behalf of Lt. Gen. RP Kalita, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, and on behalf of the entire Eastern Command, welcome everyone to this Kick off for the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup. The Durand Cup is now the second qualifying cup recognized by the Asian Football Confederation.”

“This will ensure the mandatory participation of all 11 ISL teams, which in turn will raise the standard of football and the Durand Cup even more. I would also like to thank the Government of West Bengal for the support they have received in staging the Durand Cup Tournament in Kolkata. I would like to mention here that the Assam and Manipur state governments have made tremendous efforts to improve football infrastructure to allow Guwahati and Imphal to host single group matches. I believe the Durand Cup has the potential to expand to a 24 or 28 team tournament in the future.” (ANI)

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