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Football: Durand Cup Trophy Tour conducted in Mumbai

Football Durand Cup Trophy Tour Conducted In Mumbai With Great Enthusiasm
Photo Credit : IANS

Mumbai: The trophy tour for the upcoming 132nd edition of the prestigious Durand Cup Football tournament was conducted in Mumbai with great enthusiasm on Saturday.

The tour involves three Trophies unique to the tournament — the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and first given by the resident of Shimla in 1904) and the President’s Cup (for permanent keep and first presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, in 1956).

The three magnificent Durand Trophies were received at the Army Officers Institute (AOI) in Colaba in a poignant ceremony by the Chief Guest, V Adm Dinesh K Tripathi, AVSM, NM, FOC-in-C, Western Naval Command and Lt Gen HS Kahlon, AVSM, SM, GOC, HQ MG & G Area, before setting off for a tour of the financial capital.

The trophies were taken across Mumbai where they were showcased at historic places like the Gateway of India, across the shores of Mumbai’s iconic Marine Drive and so on.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen HS Kahlon, AVSM, SM GOC, HQ MG & G Area said, “It Is indeed an honour to be a part of the celebrations of the iconic Durand Cup Football Tournament. This is the second year running that the Durand Trophies have come to Mumbai, the home of Mumbai City FC, one of the most exciting teams in Indian football and runners-up of the 131st edition. The Indian Army is perhaps the biggest public supporter and promoter of sports and our globally acclaimed athletes are a source of inspiration and pride for the youth of the entire country.

“The Durand Cup stands testimony to our commitment to football and I am confident that very soon, Indian football too will reach dizzying heights. I wish the Eastern Command, who have been doing a fantastic job in organizing this tournament for the last four editions, a resounding success with the 132nd edition. I also wish the Indian Army and the Services team all the very best for their 132nd Durand Campaign,” he was quoted as saying in a release on Saturday.

Kandarp Chandra, CEO of Mumbai City FC, who were the runners-up of the previous edition, on welcoming the trophies to the city said, “We are excited to be back at the Durand Cup once again, and looking to improve on our last outing. Much of our core squad will be returning from last, along with some new faces. Our hope is that the changes will bring increased success at the Durand Cup.

“Competitive games are what every professional sports team desires, and in that regard, the Durand Cup is a great platform for talent to showcase itself in Indian football.”

The trophies were jointly flagged off for a 17-city Trophy Tour on June 30, 2023, in Delhi, by General Manoj Pande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, Air Chief Marshal VK Chaudhary, Chief of Air Staff and Kalyan Chaubey, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Mumbai is the fifth stop in the tour after the Trophies travelled to Dehradun, Udhampur and Pune. The other cities that the tour will cover include Jaipur, Karwar, Kochi, Ezhimala, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Shillong and Aizawl, before flagging into Kolkata on August 1.

The 132nd Durand Cup begins on August 3 in Kolkata, its newest home, with the finals slated for September 3, 2023, at the Yoba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), in the city.

This time the Durand Cup will have 24 teams, up from 20 last time, including all 12 Indian Super League (ISL) sides. Service teams from neighbouring foreign countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal will also be participating in the legacy tournament, making foreign participation in the legendary tournament happen after a long gap of 27 years.

Kokrajhar in Assam will also be the newest addition to the Durand host city roster this year and a local Bodoland team will also be participating.

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