Last Updated: June 07, 2023, 15:17 IST
Kolkata [Calcutta], India
The 132nd Durand Cup’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced Shillong in Meghalaya and Kokrajhar in Assam, as the newest host cities for the legendary football tournament. This year’s tournament, now the traditional season-opener in India’s domestic footballing calendar and one of the oldest tournaments in the world, has been scheduled between August 03-September 03, 2023.
Last year’s 131st edition saw Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri win the coveted Durand Trophies for the very first time in a glittering career after his side Bengaluru FC defeated Mumbai City FC 2-1 in a thrilling finale in Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK).
Speaking on the occasion, Lt. Gen. R.P. Kalita PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command, said, “The Durand Cup is a very proud tradition of the Indian Armed forces and the Indian Army takes immense pride in organizing this more than a century-old masterpiece. We had expressed last year that we wanted to expand the reach of the Durand Cup in the Northeast and are extremely happy that we are taking the legend of Durand this year to Shillong, the mesmerizingly beautiful capital of the state Meghalaya. Kokrajhar has also been added as a new host city and this will help in further growing the game in Assam, the North-East’s largest state. This would not have been possible without the enthusiastic and proactive support of the Assam and Meghalaya State Governments. And of course, as usual, the West Bengal Government remains the ever-supportive and gracious hosts, as they have been since the revival of the Durand Cup over the past few years.”
Besides the new host cities and venues, the 132nd Durand Cup edition will see many more firsts including the participation of the popular Shillong Lajong football club, among others – all 12 Indian Super League teams, four sides from the Indian armed forces as well as some I-League clubs.
Last year the tournament was also played in Manipr at Imphal’s Khuman Lampak stadium as the state government also supported in organising the tournamenr. The current situation in the state of Manipur though, meant a moving out was inevitable.
This Durand Cup edition will also see full spectators for the entire length of the tournament for the second time post the pandemic, across the four host cities of Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and Kokrajhar.