133rd Indian Oil Durand Cup to kick-off on July 27, four cities to host the season opener of Indian football

  • Venues – Kolkata, Kokrajhar, Shillong and Jamshedpur
  • 24 teams shall fight for the three coveted Durand Trophies
  • Jamshedpur and Shillong shall host the tournament for the first time

Kolkata, 02 July2024: The 133rd edition of Indian Oil Durand Cup football tournament, the season opener of Indian Football, shall kick-off on July 27, 2024, with the final scheduled for August 31st, 2024. This was announced by HQ Eastern Command of the Indian Army, on behalf of the Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS), which shall organise this year’s edition of Asia’s oldest football tournament. Continuing with its commitment to spread the reach of the Durand Cup further into the East and North-East, two new cities, Jamshedpur and Shillong, have been added as host cities this year. Kokrajhar in Assam shall be playing host for the second consecutive year, besides Kolkata, which has been a host for the last five years.

The 133rd edition shall see 24 teams with representation from the widest possible spectrum of Indian football, like the Indian Super League, I-League and other invitational teams, as well as teams from the Armed Forces. Also, like last year, international teams are expected to participate this year too.

Commenting on the preparations, Lieutenant General Ram Chander Tiwari UYSM, AVSM, SM, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, said, “The Durand Cup is a source of immense pride for the Eastern Command. The event has become a cornerstone in the landscape of Indian football and a beacon of sporting excellence. Football, is more than just a sport. It is a unifying force that brings together people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. It embodies the spirit of teamwork, perseverance, and fair play. The Durand Cup, with its long-standing tradition, epitomizes these values and continues to inspire countless young athletes to dream big and strive for excellence. We in the military take great pride in organising the Durand Cup and it also strengthens civil-military relationship in the country. We sincerely thank the State Governments of all the four states for their unrelenting support. This year, the Durand Cup promises to be more exciting and competitive than ever before. I wish all involved yet another successful Durand Cup Tournament and may the best team win.”

A total of 43 matches would be played in a round-robin league-cum-knockout format, with the finals scheduled at the iconic Vivekananda Yuba BharatiKrirangan (VYBK) in Kolkata. 24-teams will be divided into six groups. A total of eight teams – group toppers and two best second-placed sides would qualifyto the knockout stage.

Kolkata will host three groups while Kokrajhar, Shillong and Jamshedpur will host one group each. The three coveted Durand Trophies will be flagged-off for a nation wide tour from New Delhi on July 10, 2024, before they reach Kolkata ahead of the opening game on July 27th at the VYBK.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant are the defending champions, having won the tournament for a record 17th time, the most by any team, last year.

All matches of the 133rd edition of the Durand Cup would be broadcast LIVE on Sony Sports Network (SSN) as well as live-streamed on SonyLiv OTT platform.

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. Organized by the Indian Army on behalf of the three Services, the Durand Cup has been the breeding ground for India’s best footballing talent, over the years.

The inaugural edition happened in Shimla in 1888 and then the tournament moved to New Delhi in 1940, where it was held till 2016. In 2019, the tournament came under the aegis of the Eastern Command and moved to the eastern part of the country, with Kolkata, the Mecca of Indian football and the Eastern Command Headquarters, being the home base. What makes the Durand Cup even more unique is that the winners get three trophies, two rotating (Durand Cup and Shimla Trophy) and one for permanent keep (President’s Cup).

As we embark on this exciting journey over the coming weeks, let us celebrate the beautiful game of football, honour the traditions of the Durand Cup, and look forward to witnessing moments of brilliance that will be etched in our memories forever.

Also Read: AIFF updates on I-League 2023-24 relegation

Also Read: Spanish attacking midfielder Jon Toral signs for Mumbai City

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