Durand Cup: Groups, fixtures finalized for 130th Durand Cup football tournament – The groups and fixtures for the much anticipated 130th edition, Asia’s oldest football tournament, have now been confirmed. Sixteen teams across four groups will contest for one of the oldest and most prestigious honors in Indian football to be played in and around Kolkata from September 5 to October 3.
The timings for the semi-finals and the final match will be confirmed later. The tournament is jointly organized by the Indian Armed Forces and the Government of West Bengal. The draw has resulted in multiple enticing Indian Super League (ISL) franchise versus I-League club encounters, and also pitted the biggest names from Indian football’s premier division against some of Durand Cup’s stalwarts.
Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting Club – the first Indian winners of the Durand Cup have been drawn into Group A, alongside Bengaluru United, the Indian Air Force Football Team, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
- The Group A fixture between Indian Air Force Football Team and Mohammedan SC will be the opening match of the tournament.
- Group B has all the ingredients for a potential “Group of Death“, featuring Indian Super League (ISL) sides FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC, alongside I-League side Sudeva Delhi FC and 2016 winners Army Green Football Team.
- Bengaluru Football Club and Kerala Blasters Football Club are in Group C, which also has Delhi FC and the Indian Navy, football team. For the Blasters, this tournament would also mark their debut.
- The fourth and final group will see Assam Rifles Football Team and Army Red Football Team locking horns with Hyderabad FC from the ISL and the reigning Durand Cup and I-League Champions, Gokulam Kerala Football Club.
The top two from each group would advance to the quarter-finals. The two semi-finals are scheduled for September 27 and 29. The final will take place on October 3.
The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Kalyani Municipality Stadium and Mohun Bagan Club Ground will serve as the three venues for this year’s tournament.