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16 teams to take part in iconic Durand Cup, tournament star from Sep 5 across Kolkata

Sports Lounge Staff

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RajendraPrasadChuniGoswami
L-R- The First President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad handing over the Durand Trophy to legendary footballer Chuni Goswami

New Delhi: Five Indian Super League (ISL) franchises and three I-League teams will be among 16-teams vying for the iconic Durand Cup football tournament, to be played in and around Kolkata between September 5-October 3, 2021. The tournament, now in its 130th edition was first held in the Mecca of Indian football back in 2019, after moving from its longtime venue at Delhi.

 

Traditionally organized by the Indian Army on behalf of our Armed Forces, the World’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament will this year also see the Government of West Bengal as joint hosts, who have been providing admirable support in all aspects of the organization.

 

Besides top ISL franchises FC Goa and Bengaluru FC, the other clubs from India’s top division would be Kerala Blasters, Jamshedpur FC, and Hyderabad FC.

 

Challenging them would be the century-old Mohammedan Sporting of Kolkata, who were the first Indian winners of the Cup in 1940 and who would be leading a troika of I-League challengers including defending champions Gokulam Kerala and Sudeva FC of Delhi.

FC Bengaluru United and Delhi FC will represent the second division of the Indian football whereas two Indian Army teams (Red and Green), a team from Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, CRPF, and the Assam Rifles round-off the 16.

Three leading footballing venues of the State have been identified for the 130th Durand Cup, namely the Vivekananda YuvaBharati Krirangan (VYBK) and the Mohun Bagan Club Ground in Kolkata as well as the Kalyani Municipal Stadium Ground, which has been regularly hosting national level football matches over the past few years.

The Durand Cup is unique in the sense the winners are awarded three trophies with two rolling ones (the Durand Cup and the Shimla Trophy) and the President’s Cup for permanent keeping.

The four groups for the 130th Durand Cup are as follows:

Group A – Indian Air Force Football Team, Bengaluru United, CRPF, Mohammedan Sporting Club
Group B – Army Green Football Team, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC, Sudeva Delhi FC

Group C – Bengaluru Football Club, Delhi FC, Indian Navy Football Team, Kerala Blasters Football Club

Group D – Assam Rifles Football Team, Army Red Football Team, Gokulam Kerala Football Club, Hyderabad FC

Key fixtures of the tournament: 

September 5: Opening Match – Indian Air Force Football Team v Mohammedan SC
September 27: Semi-final 1
September 29: Semi-final 2
October 3: Final

ISL Team opening games: 

September 6: Jamshedpur FC v Sudeva Delhi FC (Group B)
September 7: FC Goa v Army Green Football Team (Group B)
September 11: Kerala Blasters FC v Indian Navy Football Team (Group C)
September 12: Assam Rifles Football Team v Hyderabad FC (Group D)
September 15: Bengaluru FC v Kerala Blasters FC (Group C)

ISL v ISL face-off: 

September 15: Bengaluru FC vs. Kerala Blasters FC

September 17: Jamshedpur FC v FC Goa

I-League Team opening games: 

September 5: Indian Air Force Football Team v Mohammedan Sporting Club (Group A)
September 6: Jamshedpur FC v Sudeva Delhi FC (Group B)
September 12: Gokulam Kerala FC v Army Red Football Team (Group D)