Kolkata, Army chief, Eastern Command, Lt Gen RP Kalita is scheduled to brief media about arrangements are being made to host India’s oldest competitive football tourney – Durand Cup , which would return after a gap of 3 years as country’s top clubs havealready made commitment for participation with inaugural play between Moihun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting on August 2 at Yuba Bharati Krirangan at 3 pm.
The 129th edition will witness top clubs of the country’s I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) sides and three wings of Army land, air and water for the first time between the four groups, out of which one winner will progress into the two semi-finals and final, slated for August 20 and August 22 respectively.
The group games will be in a round-robin format and the top team from each group will progress to the semi-finals. Group A winner will play Group D winner and Group B winner will take on Group C winner in the semi-finals. The venues are at the Salt Lake Stadium, Mohun Bagan Ground, East Bengal Ground, Kanchenjunga Stadium and Kalyani Stadium.
Group A East Bengal: The Red and Gold are making their return to the competition after nearly a decade and have been highly successful in it. They have won the Durand Cup 16 times. Bengaluru FC: The reigning ISL champions are making their debut in the Durand Cup. Jamshedpur FC are also appearing in their first-ever Durand Cup edition. Army Red: Regular participants in the competition, they’ll be dark-horses and will look to pull off a surprise in a packed group.
Group B Mohun Bagan: Mohun Bagan also have a rich history in the Durand Cup, having won it 16 times in the past. Mohammedan Sporting: The last Kolkata team to have lifted the title in 2013, Mohammedan Sporting are ready to reclaim lost glory. ATK: The two-time ISL champions make their debut in the Durand Cup as well. ATK are aiming to create some history themselves.
Navy: Another regular participant in this tournament, Navy will also aim for a big impact against formidable opposition. Group Chennai City FC: The reigning I-League champions make their Durand Cup debut. FC Goa: FC Goa are also making first into the tournament, which is being organised by the Indian Army. Real Kashmir: Real Kashmir came last in their last outing in the Durand Cup in 2016,
Army Green: The defending Durand Cup champions, Army Green will aim to retain their crown by fending off tough opposition. Group D Chennaiyin FC the two-time ISL champions also make their Durand Cup. Gokulam Kerala: Gokulam will also be flying into Kolkata to make their Durand debut.
TRAU FC: The northeastern side look for some much-needed experience against big opposition in their first outing in the tournament. Air Force: A regular in the competition, they’ll look to surprise the giants and raise some eyebrows next month. The Durand Cup briefing to be held for the time in Fort William Complex around 3 pm