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Bengaluru, The Garden City and the home of the defending champions, Bengaluru FC celebrated the arrival of the three magnificent Durand Cup Trophies here on Tuesday at the Army Service Corps Centre and College. The Trophies came from Guwahati in Assam, as part of a 15-city Trophy Tour conducted by the organisers to connect with fans across the length and breadth of the country. The 132nd edition of the legendary Durand Cup football tournament, organised by the Indian Army on behalf of the three services, is set to be played in Kolkata, Guwahati and Kokrajhar from August 03-September 03, 2023.
The three Durand Trophies were received at the Army Service Corps Centre and College in the presence of Maj Gen Ravi Murugan, AVSM, GOC, K & K Sub Area, Air Vice Marshal RV Ramkishore, VSM, Commodore VB Bellary, VSM, Shri M. Satyanarayan General Secretary Karnataka Football Association, Representatives of Bengaluru FC and other representatives of the Indian Army, who were present during the function. The trophies were also kept for public viewing at Vidhan Soudha and Bangalore Palace, major landmarks of the city.
The three Durand Trophies that are unique to the tournament include the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and given by the residents of Shimla in 1904) and the President’s Cup (for permanent retention and presented by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, in 1956).
Speaking on the occasion, Maj Gen Ravi Murugan, AVSM, GOC, K&K Sub Area said “It is indeed a historic occasion that the prestigious Durand Cup Trophies have been brought to Bengaluru, the home of the defending champions, Bengaluru FC and a matter of great pride for us that the Durand Cup today is bigger and better than it ever was. It deservingly holds a pride of place in Indian football. I wish all the participating teams, domestic and international, all the very best for the 132nd edition of the Durand Cup.”
The three Durand trophies were jointly flagged-off for a 15-city Trophy Tour on Friday, Jun 30, 2023, in Delhi, by General Manoj Pande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, Air Chief Marshal VK Chaudhary, Chief of Air Staff and Shri Kalyan Chaubey, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF). Before coming to Bengaluru, the trophies had already visited the cities of Dehradun, Udhampur, Jaipur, Pune, Mumbai, Karwar, Ezhimala, Kochi and Guwahati. The Durand Trophies will travel to Hyderabad from Bengaluru. The other cities that the tour will cover includes Kokrajhar and Shillong. This year the Durand Trophies will also visit Kathmandu and Dhaka, before returning to Kolkata, the venue for the finals.
This time the Durand Cup will have 24 teams, up from 20 last time, including all 12 Indian Super League (ISL) sides. Service teams from neighbouring foreign countries of Bangladesh and Nepal will also be participating in the legacy tournament, making foreign participation in the legendary tournament happening after a long gap of 27 years.