Durand Cup trophies unveiled in Guwahati

Durand Cup Guwahati
The trophy unveiling ceremony in Guwahati

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma unveiled the three Durand Cup trophies in a glittering ceremony in Guwahati on July 21. The 134-year-old iconic Durand Cup football tournament will be hosted by the state for the very first time and as part of a trophy tour involving five cities, Guwahati, the venue for 10 group D games, was chosen as the first stop.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Also present on the occasion of the unveiling was the chief of staff of eastern command Lt Gen KK Repswal who is also the chairman Durand organising committee, general officer commanding-in-chief of 101 area Lt Gen KC Panchanathan and GOC of 51 sub-area Maj Gen Vikas Saini.

The matches in Guwahati will be held from August 17 to September 4 at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister termed the holding of the matches for the tournament in Assam a historic event for the people of the state. The CM, lauding the armed forces for being patrons of the tournament, stated that the 131st edition of the Durand Cup is special in the sense that 20 teams, including 11 from the Indian Super League, will be participants.

Stating that football isn’t just a game but an emotion for the people of Assam, Sarma said that the government has been nurturing talents so that the country becomes a sporting superpower in days to come. He further stated that all efforts are on to revive the glories of tournaments such as the Bordoloi Trophy in the state.

The three trophies, the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and first given by the residents of Shimla in 1904) and the President’s Cup (for permanent keep and first presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, in 1956) are on a five-city tour.

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It was flagged off from Kolkata on July 19 and after being in Guwahati for two days will proceed to Imphal in Manipur, the first-time hosts.

It then proceeds to Jaipur, as for the first time the state of Rajasthan would be fielding a team and will then make a final stop at the home of the defending champions FC Goa before returning back to Kolkata on July 31, the venue of the opening game on August 16 as well as the grand finale on September 18.

There will be a total of 47 games in the 131st Durand Cup edition, with Guwahati and Imphal hosting 10-games of groups C and D each, even as all the seven knockout games are being held in three West Bengal venues.

About Durand Cup:

A symbol of India’s football history and culture, the Durand Cup is Asia’s oldest and the world’s third oldest football tournament. Organised by the Indian Armed Forces, the Durand Cup has been the breeding ground for India’s best footballing talent, over the years.

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The inaugural edition happened in Shimla in 1888, when it started off as an Army Cup, open only to the British Indian Army troops in India, but soon opened up 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 have been the most successful teams, winning the tournament 16 times each.

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