Kolkata, Kokrajhar, Jamshedpur & Shillong to Host 133rd Durand Cup

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Kolkata, Kokrajhar, Jamshedpur & Shillong to Host 133rd Durand Cup

The Durand Cup, Asia's oldest and India's most prestigious club-based football tournament, is set to enter its 133rd edition in 2024. This historic competition, which has been a cornerstone of Indian football for over a century, continues to evolve and expand, bringing together the best teams from across the country.



Tournament Details

Dates and Venues

The 133rd Durand Cup will kick off on July 27, 2024, and conclude with the final on August 31, 2024. The tournament’s finale will be held at the iconic Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata, West Bengal, a venue that has witnessed numerous historic football moments.

Host Cities

In a significant expansion from previous years, the 2024 edition will be hosted across four cities:

  • Kolkata, West Bengal: The traditional football capital of India
  • Kokrajhar, Assam: Representing the football-loving Northeast
  • Jamshedpur, Jharkhand: Making its debut as a Durand Cup host
  • Shillong, Meghalaya: Another Northeast football hub

This multi-city approach aims to spread the excitement of the tournament across different regions of India, engaging more fans and showcasing diverse football cultures.

Tournament Format

Participating Teams

The 133rd Durand Cup will feature an impressive lineup of 24 teams. These teams will be drawn from:

  • The Indian Super League (ISL)
  • The I-League
  • Armed Forces teams

This diverse mix ensures a blend of top professional talent and the tournament’s traditional military connections.

Match Structure

The tournament will consist of 43 matches played in a round-robin league-cum-knockout format. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Group Stage:
    • Six groups of four teams each
    • Each team plays three matches in their group
    • Top teams from each group and two best second-placed teams advance
  • Knockout Stage:
    • Quarter-finals
    • Semi-finals
    • Final

Venue Distribution

  • Kolkata: Will host the opening match, semi-finals, final, and matches of three groups
  • Kokrajhar: Hosts one group at the SAI Stadium
  • Jamshedpur: Hosts one group at the JRD Tata Sports Complex
  • Shillong: Hosts one group at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Historical Significance

Origins and Evolution

The Durand Cup has a rich history dating back to 1888 when it was first held in Shimla. Initially started by the British Armed Forces stationed in India, it has grown to become a symbol of India’s football legacy. The tournament is named after Mortimer Durand, who was the Foreign Secretary of British India at the time of its inception.

Organizers

Currently, the Durand Cup is jointly organized by the Indian Army and the All India Football Federation (AIFF). This partnership maintains the tournament’s historical military connections while ensuring it meets modern football standards.

Trophies and Honors

The Three Trophies

Winners of the Durand Cup receive three prestigious trophies, each with its own historical significance:

  • The Durand Cup: The original rolling trophy and main prize
  • The Shimla Trophy: First awarded in 1904, a gift from the people of Shimla
  • The President’s Cup: Introduced in 1956 by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President

Notable Champions

  • Mohun Bagan Super Giant: Current champions and record holders with 17 titles
  • East Bengal: Close behind with 16 titles
  • Mohammedan Sporting: First Indian club to win the cup in 1940
  • Army Green: Last armed forces team to win (2016)
  • Gokulam Kerala: Last I-League team to clinch the title (2019)

Significance in Indian Football

Platform for Talent

The Durand Cup serves as a crucial platform for showcasing emerging talent in Indian football. It allows younger players to compete alongside established stars, potentially catching the eye of national team selectors.

Inter-League Competition

As one of the few tournaments that bring together teams from different Indian leagues, the Durand Cup offers a unique opportunity to see how ISL teams stack up against I-League clubs and armed forces teams.

Preserving Football Heritage

By maintaining its connection to both the armed forces and civilian clubs, the Durand Cup plays a vital role in preserving and celebrating India’s rich football heritage.

Looking Ahead to the 2024 Edition

New Horizons

The inclusion of Jamshedpur as a host city marks an exciting expansion for the tournament, bringing top-level football to new audiences in Jharkhand.

Defending Champions

All eyes will be on Mohun Bagan Super Giant as they aim to defend their title and potentially extend their record number of victories.

Potential Surprises

The diverse mix of teams always leaves room for upsets and breakthrough performances, making each edition of the Durand Cup unpredictable and exciting​ (Khel Now)​​ (Paris 2024 Olympics)​.

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Current Affairs: Kolkata, Kokrajhar, Jamshedpur & Shillong to Host 133rd Durand Cup
Kolkata, Kokrajhar, Jamshedpur & Shillong to Host 133rd Durand Cup
The Durand Cup, Asia's oldest and India's most prestigious club-based football tournament, is set to enter its 133rd edition in 2024. This historic co
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