The state’s sports minister announced that the competition will be hosted in Kolkata till 2025.
The Durand Cup 2022 was unveiled in Kolkata in the notable presence of Lieutenant General KK Repswal and the Sports Minister of West Bengal, Aroop Biswas, among other dignitaries. The tournament is all set to begin on 16th August and will conclude on 18th September. A total of 47 matches will be played out of which 27, including the knockout rounds will be played in Kolkata itself. Meghalaya was also a probable option for the competition. The Chief Minister of the state was delighted to host the tournament. However, with the stadium being under renovation that couldn’t be done.
The Durand Cup committee had approached AIFF to get the competition recognized by the AFC. The authority has positively acted upon the same. The committee considers this recognition to be a big achievement.
Lt. General KK Repswal speaks
As per Lt. General KK Repswal, “The competition will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of West Bengal. A proposal has been sent to the President to be present at the grand finale of the competition.”
The officer was asked if any notable candidates from the recently concluded Commonwealth Games will be brought in during the competition. He stated, “It depends on their availability.”
On the prize money
The Durand Cup presents its champions with three trophies, something which is not heard of in other competitions both in India and abroad. The trophies, respectively, are the Durand Cup, Shimla Cup and the President’s Cup. A prize money is also assigned to the winner and the runner-up.
The Lieutenant was questioned about the prize money. Although the amount is yet to be decided, KK Repswal said that it may be ₹60,000 for the winner and ₹40,000 for the runner-up. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility that the prize can be something even better.
Increase in teams
A positive note was shared by Lt. Gen KK Repswal at the event. He spoke of the possibility in the rise of the number of teams in future. He said, “The competition is of a limited duration so we couldn’t accommodate more teams. Clubs like Assam Rifles, CRPF aren’t included. Even Minerva wanted to participate. In future, we will have 24 or 28 teams.”
Aroop Biswas’ statement
The major statement, which will perhaps excite every football lover of Kolkata was the words of Aroop Biswas. The Sports Minister, with utmost confidence, mentioned, “The Durand Cup will be hosted in Kolkata till 2025.”
The first match will be played at the Salt Lake Stadium on 16th August, between the finalists of the previous edition, FC Goa and Mohammedan SC.