Domestic football’s 2023-24 season in India gets on the road with the commencement of the Durand Cup 2023 on August 3. Now in its 132nd edition, the Durand Cup was played for the first time at Shimla in 1888. The tournament is the oldest existing club football tournament in Asia and the fifth-oldest national football competition in the world.
Named after its founder, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, the former Foreign Secretary of India, the football tournament was initially conceptualised as a sporting activity for various departments and regiments of the armed forces of India and the princely states. To honour the legacy of the tournament, the army’s presence is maintained by inviting teams from several regiments of the armed forces to partake in the competition. The winners of the Durand Cup, since its inception till the 2022 edition, have been presented with three trophies, namely the Durand Cup, the Shimla Trophy and the President’s Cup.
With such a rich history behind the curtain raiser of the 2023-24 Indian domestic football season, we take a look at the Durand Cup 2023’s schedule, fixtures, format and participating teams while also telling you how to live stream the matches.
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Durand Cup 2023: What is the tournament’s format?
The Durand Cup 2023 will be contested by 24 teams. These also include 12 teams from the Indian Super League, the top-tier football league in India. Teams from other divisional and regional leagues will also take part in the tournament. In addition, five teams representing the armed forces teams from India, Nepal and Bangladesh will also play in the competition. For the first time in 27 years, the Durand Cup will include teams from other nations.
The tournament begins with a round-robin fixture where teams have been drawn into six groups of four. Teams finishing at the top of each group will qualify for the knockout stage of the Durand Cup 2023. The two best second-ranked clubs from the group stage will also join them in the quarter-finals.
A look at the schedule, fixtures and venues of Durand Cup 2023
According to its schedule, the group stage of the Durand Cup 2023 kick-starts today, August 3. Following the conclusion of the group stage on August 22, the knockout stage of the tournament is scheduled to begin on August 24 with the quarter-finals. The semi-finals will be played on August 29 and August 31, while the final will take place on September 3.
The Durand Cup 2023 will be hosted across two states, namely West Bengal and Assam. Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, will see the tournament being played at four venues including the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, also known as the Salt Lake Stadium, which will host most of the matches. These will include both the semi-finals and the final. Assam’s Guwahati will host 11 matches, while nine matches will be played in Kokrajhar.
Which teams are participating in the 2023 Durand Cup?
As it has been made mandatory by the All India Football Federation, all 12 teams from the ISL have to take part in the Durand Cup. This includes the likes of the Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC, winners of the Durand Cup 2022, Mumbai City FC, FC Goa and Kerala Blasters. The two behemoths of Indian domestic football hailing from Kolkata – East Bengal and current champions of the ISL Mohun Bagan Super Giant – will also be playing in the Durand Cup 2023.
I-League 2022-23 champions Punjab FC, who will play in the 2023-24 season of the ISL, will also be seen in action at the Durand Cup 2023, alongside other I-League clubs such as Delhi FC, Gokulam Kerala and Kolkata-based Mohammedan Sporting.
From the armed forces, football teams of the Indian Air Force, Army Red and Indian Navy will be participating in the Durand Cup 2023. Furthermore, the Bangladesh Army football team and the Tribhuvan Army football team from Nepal will be the two foreign teams competing at this year’s Durand Cup.
Where can you live stream the 2023 Durand Cup?
All the matches of the 2023 Durand Cup will be broadcasted by the Sony Sports Network. Fans can also live stream the matches on the Sony LIV app.
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(Main and Featured Images Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Durand Cup)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: 24 teams are participating in the Durand Cup 2023.
Answer: The Durand Cup 2023 will be hosted across three cities in two states, namely Kolkata, Guwahati and Kokrajhar.
Answer: All the matches of the Durand Cup 2023 can be live streamed on the Sony LIV application.