Sports

Asia’s oldest football tournament Durand Cup returns after a year

New Delhi, August 12 (IANS) The Durand Cup, the world’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament, is poised to return after a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sixteen teams from across the country, including four from the Indian Armed Forces, will battle for the best honors in and around Kolkata over a period of four weeks from September 5 to October 3.

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

The prestigious tournament was named after Mortimer Durand, Secretary of State of British India from 1884 to 1894, and was first held in 1888 at Annadale in Shimla.

The tournament was a deliberate way to initially maintain health and fitness among the British troops, which were later opened to civilians.

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

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

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

–IANS

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