Durand Cup awaits President nod
President Droupadi Murmu has been requested to be the chief guest for the Durand Cup final on September 18, the tournament’s organisers said on Thursday.
In the past, when Asia’s oldest tournament used to be held in New Delhi, the President used to be the guest of honour on the final day at the Ambedkar Stadium. The captains of the two finalists would look forward to the tea session with the President at halftime.
“We have sent the invitation to the President’s office and are hopeful of a favourable reply,” Lt Gen. KK Repswal, chief of staff, Eastern Command, and chairman of the organising committee, said at a news conference.
“Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to inaugurate the tournament on August 16,” he added.
Defending champions FC Goa take on Mohammedan Sporting on the first day. Twenty teams — 11 from ISL, five I-League clubs and four teams from Services — will be seen in action in the event which is officially the season-opening tournament of the Indian football calendar.
The tournament will be played in Calcutta, Guwahati and Imphal. Calcutta will host 27 matches, including the knock-out games, at Salt Lake Stadium and Kishore Bharati Stadium in Santoshpur. Repswal said a full house is expected during the August 28 Derby between ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. Sports minister Aroop Biswas informed that the tournament will be held in Bengal till 2025.