The Durand Cup, the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament, returns after a short gap of three years to entertain the football lovers of the Nation. The prestigious tournament was first held in 1888 at Dagshai in Himachal Pradesh and is named after Mortimer Durand, who was the then Foreign Secretary in charge of India.
The tournament that began as an Army Cup, was a conscious way to maintain health and fitness initially among the British troops but later opened up to civilians and currently is one of the leading football tournaments. Royal Scouts Fusiliers won the inaugural edition of the Durand Cup way back in 1888. Mohammedan Sporting Club was the first Indian club to win the cup in 1940, when the tournament shifted to Delhi. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful teams in the history of the Durand Cup, winning it on sixteen occasions each. The “Army Greens” are the current defending champions, winning the last tournament played in 2016 against NEROCA FC.
The winning team is presented with three trophies i.e. The President’s Cup (first presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India), the Durand Cup (the original challenge prize, which is a rolling trophy) and the Shimla Trophy (first presented by citizens of Shimla in 1904 and since 1965, a rolling trophy).
Under the patronage of the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three service Chiefs from Army, Navy and Air Force, dynamic support of the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamta Banerjee and able guidance of Lt Gen M.M. Naravane, PVSM,AVSM,SM,VSM, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, the 129th edition of the cup is being organized. The Department of Youth Services and Sports, Government of West Bengal under stewardship of minister Aroop Biswas, the AIFF and IFA (West Bengal) are extending extensive support to make this tournament a success.
The tournament has been shifted from its homeland Delhi to Kolkata, the “Mecca of Football”, for this edition. The ‘City of Joy’ will host the three week long tournament, scheduled between August 2 to 24 with matches being played at various venues in and around Kolkata besides Siliguri. Sixteen participating teams from across the country, including four teams from the Services, are set to bring out the competitive and true sportsman spirit to win the coveted trophies.
129th DURAND CUP – FIXTURES
East Bengal Club, Army Red, Jamshedpur FC Reserves, Bengaluru FC
03-Aug-2019: East Bengal Club – Army Red (East Bengal Ground, 3pm)
06-Aug-2019: East Bengal Club – Jamshedpur FC (Saltlake Stadium, 3pm)
08-Aug-2019: Bengaluru FC – Army Red (Kalyani, 3pm)
11-Aug-2019: Jamshedpur FC – Army Red (East Bengal Ground, 3pm)
13-Aug-2019: East Bengal Club – Bengaluru FC (East Bengal Ground, 3pm)
16-Aug-2019: Jamshedpur FC – Bengaluru FC (Mohun Bagan Ground, 3pm)
Mohun Bagan AC, Indian Navy, ATK, Mohammedan Sporting Club
02-Aug-2019: Mohun Bagan AC – Mohammedan Sporting Club (Saltlake Stadium, 3pm)
05-Aug-2019: Mohammedan Sporting Club – ATK (East Bengal Ground, 3pm)
10-Aug-2019: Mohun Bagan AC – Indian Navy (Mohun Bagan Ground, 3pm)
13-Aug-2019: Mohun Bagan AC – ATK (Saltlake Stadium, 3pm)
14-Aug-2019: Mohammedan Sporting Club – Indian Navy (Mohun Bagan Ground, 3pm)
17-Aug-2019: Indian Navy – ATK (East Bengal Ground, 3pm)
Chennai City FC, Real Kashmir FC, Army Green, FC Goa
07-Aug-2019: Real Kashmir FC – Chennai City FC (Kalyani, 3pm)
09-Aug-2019: FC Goa – Army Green (Kalyani, 3pm)
12-Aug-2019: Army Green – Real Kashmir FC (Kalyani, 3pm)
13-Aug-2019: Chennai City FC – FC Goa (Kalyani, 3pm)
16-Aug-2019: FC Goa – Real Kashmir FC (Kalyani, 3pm)
17-Aug-2019: Chennai City FC – Army Green (Kalyani, 3pm)
Gokulam Kerala FC, Chennaiyin FC, TRAU FC, Indian Air Force
08-Aug-2019: Gokulam Kerala FC – Chennaiyin FC (Siliguri, 3pm)
09-Aug-2019: TRAU – Indian Air Force (Siliguri, 3pm)
12-Aug-2019: Indian Air Force – Gokulam Kerala FC (Siliguri, 3pm)
13-Aug-2019: Chennaiyin FC – TRAU (Siliguri, 3pm)
16-Aug-2019: TRAU – Gokulam Kerala FC (Siliguri, 3pm)
17-Aug-2019: Chennaiyin FC – Indian Air Force (Siliguri, 3pm)
20-Aug-2019: Semifinal #1 (Saltlake Stadium, 3pm)
20-Aug-2019: Semifinal #2 (Saltlake Stadium, 6pm)
24-Aug-2019: Final (Saltlake Stadium, 6pm)