‘Quality of Football in Durand Cup Has Improved with Inclusion of ISL Teams, Looking to Increase Number of Teams’

‘Quality of Football in Durand Cup Has Improved with Inclusion of ISL Teams, Looking to Increase Number of Teams’

‘Quality of Football in Durand Cup Has Improved with Inclusion of ISL Teams, Looking to Increase Number of Teams’: The final match of the 131st Durand Cup will be played between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC on September 18 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata for the Durand Cup, the Shimla Trophy, and the President’s Cup.

'Quality of Football in Durand Cup Has Improved with Inclusion of ISL Teams, Looking to Increase Number of Teams'
Credit – https://www.news18.com/

In an exclusive interview with News18, Lt. Gen. KK Repswal, SM CSM, chief of staff Eastern Command, and chairman of the event organizing committee, said that the reception to the Durand Cup has been “phenomenal, way beyond our expectations.”


He praised the people of Manipur, especially Imphal, for coming out to witness the games at the stadium.

Saltlake Stadium and Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, and the Khuman Lampak stadium in Imphal all hosted games.

Lt. Gen. Repswal believes the level of football was higher than in previous editions because of the incentive of competing for a spot in the AFC Cup. All eleven teams from the Indian Super League took part.

With the exception of maybe two teams, all 11 squads included a blend of veterans and up-and-comers. It was fortuitous timing for all these teams to get in a few solid exhibition games before the ISL season began.

If not, some of these clubs will have to send their teams overseas for actual practice matches. He added, “But now that the Durand Cup is happening, all the elite teams are coming.

So it’s a good chance for them to get some very good matches before they begin with ISL, and they’ll absolutely help us increase the standard of football. He continued that good matches are provided for the audience, which increases attendance.


The Durand Cup committee is considering playing some games outside of Kolkata in Mizoram, Meghalaya, and most certainly Manipur and Assam, according to Lt. Gen. Repswal, who was asked about the stadium attendance for games outside of Kolkata.

Reaching out to the young people of North East India is the goal here. A large proportion of the footballers in that area come from neighboring countries.

This means the football players will get to perform in front of their respective fans. In future iterations of the competition, we hope to welcome even more teams and host it in even more cities.

Debuting this year, Rajasthan United stunned the competition by advancing to the quarterfinals and beating out perennial powerhouses ATK Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

In barely nine months, Rajasthan United has become a competitive club. True, they were able to play in the Durand Cup because neither Gokulam Kerala nor Churchill Brothers, the two best teams in the I-League, were available to compete.


Thus, Rajasthan United was given a chance, and they made excellent most of it. The other I-League clubs will take great heart from this. Repswal has expressed interest in expanding the tournament’s field size to accommodate additional I-League teams.

Lt. Gen. Respwal thinks the four service teams gained “excellent exposure,” not only the I-League teams.

The Durand Cup has confirmed that West Bengal Governor La. Ganesan, Army Chief of Staff General Manoj Pande, and West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas will be present during the final.

The organizing committee further declared that complimentary tickets might be picked up at the Mohammedan Sporting Club tent between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on September 17 and from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on September 18, just before kickoff.

The organizing committee has scheduled a large-scale closing ceremony for the last day.


Bands will play patriotic anthems like “Vande Mataram,” “Jai Ho,” and others to get the crowd excited, and there will also be an exciting performance by the Air Warrior Drill team.

The North-East fusions, the Bhangra from Punjab, and the famed martial arts of South India, such as Kalaripayattu, will all be featured in the fusion dance performances. The brave Gurkhas will also be there, playing music on their Kukhris.

Both squads are known for their fierce rivalries. I’m making an impassioned plea for all the supporters, especially in Kolkata, not to miss the finals of the two Indian Super League teams.

Despite none of the home clubs making it to the championship game, the Durant Cup was brought to Kolkata because “we thought the city was the ‘Mecca of football’ in India, so the fans must prove it,” he said stated.

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