The tournament is India’s oldest football competition.
After a nearly three-year exodus, the Durand Cup is set to make its return to the Indian football calendar. The oldest and widely regarded as one of India’s most prestigious tournaments, it’s created some unforgettable moments in its 131-year-old history. While it was momentarily discontinued in 2016 due to some internal issues, the iconic competition’s been revived with a twist. Instead of taking place in Delhi, it’ll take place in Kolkata in this edition.
This year’s edition will see a healthy range of I-League, Indian Super League (ISL) and Army teams competing for the prestigious tournament, before the regular season kicks off. There will be four groups, out of which one winner will progress into the semi-finals and beyond.
The group games will be in a round-robin format and the top team from each group will progress to the semi-finals. Group A winner will play Group D winner and Group B winner will take on Group C winner in the semi-finals.
Here is everything you need to know about the tournament:
Durand Cup 2019 fixtures
East Bengal: The Red and Gold are making their return to the competition after nearly a decade and have been highly successful in it. They’ve won the Durand Cup 16 times and Alejandro Menendez will look to add his first silverware as East Bengal manager in this competitive tournament.
Bengaluru FC: The reigning ISL champions are making their debut in the Durand Cup and will meet old foes East Bengal in their group. Bengaluru FC have won just about everything in India since their inception and will look to add another jewel to their cabinet soon.
Squad: Aditya Patra (GK), Dipesh Chauhan (GK), Johnson Singh, Lalhmunmawia, L Rakesh, Saiurat Kima, Rakesh Oram, Namgiyal Bhutia, Gursimrat Gill, Parag Shrivas, Naorem Roshan Singh, Advajt Shinde, Bekey Oram, Emmanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Biswa Darjee, Damait, Freddy, Ajay Chhetri, Suresh Wangjam.
Jamshedpur FC: Similarly, Jamshedpur FC are also appearing in their first-ever Durand Cup edition. With a blooming youth setup and impressive personnel, they’ll want to make some history themselves.
Army Red: Regular participants in the competition, they’ll be dark-horses and will look to pull off a surprise in a packed group.
Mohun Bagan: Mohun Bagan also have a rich history in the Durand Cup, having won it 16 times in the past. Kibu Vicuna will want to kick-start his reign brightly and show glimpses of his football in the competition.
Mohammedan Sporting: The last Kolkata team to have lifted the title in 2013, Mohammedan Sporting are ready to reclaim lost glory as new coach Subrata Bhattacharya aims to make a big mark.
Squad: Moniruzzaman Ansari (GK), Subham Roy (GK), Subhranil Bose (GK), Asif Ali Molla, Kamran Farooque, Kareem Omolaja Nurain, Sujit Sadhu, Balwinder Singh, Hira Mondal, Tirthankar Sarkar, Satyam Sharma, Musa Mudde, Safiul Rahman, Indrajit Das, Firoj Ali, Vanlalbiaa Chhangte, Sovan Sen, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Samsad Ali, Mohammad Amirul, Amir Hossain, Desmos Arthur Kouassi.
ATK: The two-time ISL champions make their debut in the Durand Cup as well. ATK are aiming to create some history themselves.
Navy: Another regular participant in this tournament, Navy will also aim for a big impact against formidable opposition.
Also Read: Top 10 moments in Durand Cup history
Chennai City FC: The reigning I-League champions make their Durand Cup debut, as Akbar Nawas will look to utilize his rich domestic core to great effect.
Squad: Kabir Toufik (GK), Prateek Kumar Singh (GK), Jude Felix Nixon Francis, Ajithkumar Kamaraj, Karthik Govind Swamy, Ranjeet Singh Pandre, Kirandas Devadasan, Sarvana Kumar Gopalakrishnan, Rajeevan Soosaidimal, Shem Marton Eugene, Rajapandi Soundrapandiyan, Pravitto Raju, Mashoor Shareef, Sriram Boopathi, Charles Anandraj, Shine John, Lenin Shanmugam, Ahmed Cader, Vijay Thomas.
FC Goa: FC Goa are also dipping their toes in new territory, looking to add another piece of silverware with the prestigious Durand Cup.
Real Kashmir: Real Kashmir came last in their last outing in the Durand Cup in 2016, and will want to redeem themselves this time.
Army Green: The defending Durand Cup champions, Army Green will aim to retain their crown by fending off tough opposition.
Squad: Roluahpuia (GK), Sarath Narayanana M (GK), Vibin TV, Linesh PV, Ayush, Ramandeep Singh, Stanisalus CS, Vikas Zanje, Subash P Limbu, Shafeel PP, Nitin, Bikash Budhthoki, L Nanish Singh, Muzamml MM, Roel Lepcha, Shamsher Singh, Alan Thapa, Sajesh M, L Deepak Singh, Sajid Ansari, PC Lallawankima, Kamginlun Kipgen
Chennaiyin FC: The two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC also make their Durand bow, looking to reclaim their lost glory.
Gokulam Kerala: Gokulam will also be flying into Kolkata to make their Durand debut, aiming to gear up for the season properly.
TRAU FC: The northeastern side look for some much-needed experience against big opposition in their first outing in the tournament.
Air Force: A regular in the competition, they’ll look to surprise the giants and raise some eyebrows next month.
Star Sports have been roped in as the official broadcasters of the tournament. President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be present in a time yet to be specified during the course of the tournament. The tournament will also be streamed live on Addatimes app. To know more details, read here.
The full coverage and updates for the Durand Cup 2019 can be found on the Durand Cup page on Khel Now.