New Delhi, 25 July: The 132nd edition of the Asia's oldest football tournament, the Durand Cup featuring 24 teams will commence on 3 August
The tournament will witness 43 matches with the final to be played on September 3 in Kolkata. First played in 1888, the Durand Cup is the third oldest football tournament in the world. It is the only tournament in India that features teams from the Indian Super League, I-League and the Armed Forces.
The 24 teams, up from 20 last year, have been divided into six groups of four teams each. Three of these groups will play their matches in Kolkata. Guwahati will host two groups and Kokrajhar in Assam will host one group.
Guwahati and Kokrajhar will also host one quarter-final each, while the rest of the knockout games will be played in Kolkata.
This year’s tournament will also see the participation of foreign teams after a gap of 27 years, with the Army teams of Nepal and Bangladesh.
The Durand Cup will feature many popular derbies. Prominent among them will be the Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal Kolkata Derby, one of the biggest football rivalries in India.
Others include the Kerala derby between ISL side Kerala Blasters and former I-League champions Gokulam Kerala. The two southern derbies will pit Hyderabad vs Chennaiyin and ISL finalists Bengaluru vs Gokulam Kerala . The clash between North-East United vs Shillong Lajong will provide a local flavor.
Bengaluru led by National team captain Sunil Chhetri, are the defending champions. It was the team’s maiden Durand Cup title. Mumbai City were the runners-up after they lost the final 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, the venue of this year’s final as well.
The teams have been divided into six pools
Durand Cup 2023 teams
Group A: Bangladesh Army , East Bengal, Mohun Bagan , Punjab
Group B: Indian Navy , Jamshedpur , Mohammedan Sporting, Mumbai City
Group C: Bengaluru , Gokulam Kerala , Indian Air Force , Kerala Blasters
Group D: Downtown Heroes , Goa, NorthEast United , Shillong Lajong
Group E: Chennaiyin , Delhi , Hyderabad , Tribhuwan Army
Group F: Bodoland , Indian Army , Odisha , Rajasthan United