The Durand Cup, Asia’s oldest football tournament, will be played in Kolkata for the next five years. The Chief of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army, Lt. General Kamal Repswal gave this information on Thursday while addressing the media at Fort William during the unveiling of the iconic Durand Cup trophies in the presence of Shri Aroop Biswas (Hon’ble Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Power in the Govt. of West Bengal). The 130th season of the tournament will begin in Kolkata on Sunday. Earlier in 2019 also it was organized in Kolkata, whereas it has been played in Delhi.
Repswal, head of the Durand Cup, said, “the 129th edition of the Durand Cup was held in Kolkata in 2019. The kind of response the tournament got in Kolkata was immense, with tremendous amount of support from the state government. I must mention it because of every department of the state govt. went out of their way to ensure the tournament becomes a success. You will all be very happy to know that for the next five years, Durand Cup will be conducted in Kolkata”
16 teams will participate in the tournament, including five Indian Super League clubs. They are divided into four groups and the top two teams from each group will play in the quarter-finals. Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas told about the spectator attendance criteria for the 130th Durand Cup that due to the coronavirus pandemic, initially there will be minimum spectator attendance in the stands.
He said that the Bengal government has allowed 50 percent capacity inside the stadiums, but the Durand Cup tournament committee has decided to allow minimum attendance in view of the coronavirus pandemic and then gradually move towards the final stage of the tournament and all. If something goes well, the government will allow 50 percent attendance.