Asia’s oldest football tourney Durand Cup to return after a year

New Delhi:- Durand Cup, the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament, is poised to make a comeback after a year’s hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sixteen teams from across the country, including four from the Indian armed forces, will vie for the top honours in and around Kolkata over a period of four weeks from September 5 to October 3.

The 130th edition of Durand Cup is being organised with the support of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), IFA (West Bengal) and the government of West Bengal.

Named after Mortimer Durand, the Foreign Secretary of British India from 1884 to 1894, the prestigious tournament was first held in 1888 at Annadale in Shimla.

The tournament was a conscious way to initially maintain health and fitness amongst the British troops which was later opened to civilians.

Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful teams in the history of Durand Cup, winning it 16 times each.

The winning team is presented with three trophies — the President’s Cup, first presented by Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, the Durand Cup, and the Shimla Trophy, first presented by the citizens of Shimla in 1903 and since 1965, a rolling trophy.

The tournament was shifted from Delhi to Kolkata in 2019, which was won by Gokulam Kerala who beat beat Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the final.