According to sources, the Durand Cup will be held for the 130th time next month. Due of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s third oldest competition was cancelled last season. With the pandemic destroying the country, only the Indian Super League, I-League, and I-League Qualifiers were held, all of which were held under stringent conditions and within a bio-bubble.
The Durand Football Competition Society has announced that the tournament will take place this year. Kolkata, West Bengal, is expected to host the event. The 2019 version was held in the football-crazy city as well.
The tournament’s most likely date is September, given it coincides with the ISL and I-forthcoming League’s seasons. The top tier of Indian football will begin in November 2021, with the second tier possibly starting in December 2021.
The I-League Qualifiers are also scheduled for September, although the Durand Cup clubs will not be competing. The tournament’s current champions are Gokulam Kerala. At the Salt Lake Stadium, the I-League side defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1. After 22 years, they became the first Kerala club to win the title.
Several famous clubs are expected to compete in the 130th edition of the Durand Cup, according to local reports. Gokulam Kerala, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, ATK reserves, and other clubs competed in the previous edition. The top four teams from last season, namely Mumbai City FC, ATK Mohun Bagan, NorthEast United, and FC Goa, are expected to compete in the ISL this year.
SC East Bengal and Mohammedan SC will be the other two teams competing for the remaining six spots in the 10-team tournament. The remaining four berths will be filled by the I-League champions, I-League runners-up, and two army teams. The tentative release date is September 2021, but this is subject to change as more information becomes available.
It will be interesting to see if ISL teams send reserves or senior players. The event will serve as an ideal warm-up for the commencement of the 2021/22 season.