Asia’s oldest football tournament, Durand Cup, is currently underway in Delhi. It is the 128th edition of the tournament which started way back in 1988. In the opening match, DSK Shivajians defeated Sporting Clube de Goa. This year the tournament will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium and Harbaksh Stadium in Delhi. Also Read- India to play football friendly against Puerto Rico on September 3
Salgaocar FC won the last edition of the tournament in 2014, but they won’t be part of this season. In fact, none of the last eight title winners, including Salgaocar FC, are participating in this year’s edition. Neither top football clubs in the country like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong will be seen competing in the tournament.
The tournament is no doubt fighting for its survival, but it is a good opportunity for some lesser-known club to make a mark. Sporting Goa and Dempo SC are the only teams to have participated before in the tournament. Here is all that you need to know about Durand Cup 2016. Also Read- AIFF and AFC set up joint task force
The tournament will take place from August 28, 2016, to September 11, 2016. The two semifinals will be held on September 9 at Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.
Total of 12 teams, 8 Premier football teams & 4 Services teams, will participate in this year’s Durand Cup. The participating teams are Army Green, DSK Shivajians, Gangtok Himalayan, Indian Navy, Minerva Academy, Sporting Goa, Aizawl FC, Army Red, Dempo Sports Club, Indian Air Force, Real Kashmir FC and NEROCA FC.
The 12 teams have been divided into two groups of six each. Top two teams from each group will advance to semifinals. The topper of Group A will take on runner-up of Group B and Group B winner will face runner-up Group A in the semis.
The prize money for this year’s tournament has been increased. The winner will take home Rs. 45 lakh while the runner-up will get Rs.25 lakh. The semi-finalists will also get prize money of around Rs. 5 lakh.
Mohun Bagan AC has won the most Durand Cup titles- 16 out of 25 final appearances. The next best is East Bengal Club with 15 wins. The Border Security Force’s football has won seven titles.