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City Big Three for Durand Cup

New Delhi: For the first time since 1997, Calcutta’s Big Three, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting will be in action together in the 115th edition of the Durand Cup football tournament, to be held here from Thursday to January 10.

Incidentally, Bagan have lifted the Cup 16 times and East Bengal 14 times.

Besides the three Calcutta clubs, several other National Football League teams will also be in action. They are holders Mahindra United, Salgaocar, Vasco Sports Club, JCT and Indian Telephone Industries, Bangalore. Also in the fray are Tata Football Academy and Army XI.

The preliminary round, from Thursday, lasts four days. The quarter final league is from December 31 to and will go on till January 5. The semi-finals are on January 7 and 8 and the final is on January 10.

The teams likely to be affected most by the national camp for the South Asian Football Federation championship in Dhaka in January next year are East Bengal and Salgaocar. East Bengal goalkeeper Sandip Nandy, defenders Deepak Mondal and Arun Malhotra, midfielders S. Venkatesh and Shashthi Duley and forwards Alvito D’Cunha and S. Malswamtluanga are likely probables for the India camp.

Salgaocar’s ranks will be depleted with midfielders Tomba Singh and Bungo Singh, defender Monitombi Singh and striker Alex Ambrose likely to do national duty.

Mohammedan Sporting have been called this year after finishing runners up in the Calcutta league with a revamped squad.

However, the meet it is without a title sponsor. Allwyn, sponsors since 1998, have withdrawn and no substitute has been found yet.

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