Durand Cup 2021: Everything you need to know about Asia's oldest football tournament
Here's everything you need to know about the Durand Cup 2021
The 2021 edition of the Durand Cup will kick off on 5 September when the Indian Air Force take on Mohammedan SC. Ahead of the tournament, here's a handy refresher on everything you need to know about the competition:
What is the Durand Cup?
The Durand Cup is famous for being the oldest football tournament in Asia. The very first edition of the contest was held in 1888. There have been 130 editions of the tournament since, and the only interruptions in the staging of the Durand Cup have been caused by wars and the COVID-19 pandemic. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have been the most successful teams to have competed in the tournament, with both the Kolkata giants having won it 16 times apiece. The current reigning champions are Gokulam Kerala FC, who won the tournament in 2019 after defeating Mohun Bagan 2-1 in the final.
Who will be playing in the Durand Cup?
The 2021 edition of the Durand Cup will feature 16 teams. Five of those teams play in the Indian Super League, namely Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters FC. There are another five teams from the I-League and the I-League second division, namely, Gokulam Kerala FC, Mohammedan SC, Sudeva Delhi FC, FC Bengaluru United and Delhi FC. The remaining six teams are Indian Armed Force teams, including Assam Rifles, Army Green, Army Red, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Central Reserve Police Force.
ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were both invited to participate in the tournament, but were forced to decline due to ATKMB's continental fixtures and East Bengal's investor issues.
What is the tournament format of the Durand Cup?
The tournament begins with a group stage, with the 16 teams being divided into four groups of four teams. Group A features the Indian Air Force Football Team, Bengaluru United, CRPF and Mohammedan Sporting Club. Group B is made up of Army Green, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC and Sudeva Delhi FC. Group C is comprised of Bengaluru FC, Delhi FC, Indian Navy Football Team and Kerala Blasters FC. Group D will see Assam Rifles Football Team, Army Red, Gokulam Kerala FC and Hyderabad FC face off against each other.
The top two teams in each group will progress to the knockouts in the quarter-finals. Top-ranked teams of every group will play the second ranked-teams of other groups in the quarter-finals, and the winners will progress to the semi-finals and then the final which will be played on 3 October.
Where will the Durand Cup be played?
The tournament will be hosted in West Bengal across three venues: Kalyani Stadium in Kalyani, Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata and the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata.
Where can you watch the Durand Cup?
The streaming rights of the Durand Cup have been acquired by Addatimes, and the games can be watched on the Addatimes app.
Complete schedule of the Durand Cup:
5 September - Indian Air Force vs Mohammedan Sporting Club – 4.15 PM IST
6 September - CRPF vs FC Bengaluru United – 3.00 PM IST, Jamshedpur FC vs Sudeva Delhi FC – 3.00 PM IST
7 September - FC Goa vs Army Green – 3.00 PM IST
8 September - Delhi FC vs Indian Navy – 3.00 PM IST
9 September - Indian Air Force vs FC Bengaluru United – 3.00 PM IST, Assam Rifles vs Army Red – 3.00 PM IST
10 September - CRPF vs Mohammedan Sporting Club – 3.00 PM IST, Jamshedpur FC vs Army Green – 3.00 PM IST
11 September - Kerala Blasters FC vs Indian Navy – 3.00 PM IST
12 September - Assam Rifles vs Hyderabad FC – 3.00 PM IST, Gokulam Kerala FC vs Army Red – 3.00 PM IST
13 September - FC Goa vs Sudeva Delhi FC – 3.00 PM IST
14 September - Mohammedan Sporting Club vs FC Bengaluru United – 3.00 PM IST, CRPF vs Indian Air Force – 3.00 PM IST
15 September - Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC – 3.00 PM IST
16 September - Gokulam Kerala FC vs Hyderabad FC – 3.00 PM IST
17 September - Jamshedpur FC vs FC Goa – 3.00 PM IST, Army Green vs Sudeva Delhi FC – 3.00 PM IST
18 September - Delhi FC vs Bengaluru FC – 3.00 PM IST
19 September - Army Red vs Hyderabad FC – 3.00 PM IST, Assam Rifles vs Gokulam Kerala FC – 3.00 PM IST
21 September - Bengaluru FC vs Indian Navy – 3.00 PM IST, Delhi FC vs Kerala Blasters FC – 3.00 PM IST
23 September - Quarter-final 1 – 3.00 PM IST
24 September - Quarter-final 2 – 3.00 PM IST, Quarter-final 3 – 3.00 PM IST
25 September - Quarter-final 4 – 3.00 PM IST
27 September - Semi-final 1
29 September - Semi-final 2
3 October - Final
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