Durand Cup 2023 – All You Need to Know


Durand Cup 2023, which happens to be Asia’s oldest football tournament will start on August 3rd, and the 132nd edition will feature 24 teams. First played in 1888, the Durand Cup is the third oldest football tournament in the world. It is India’s only tournament with teams from the ISL, I-League, and the Armed Forces.

The 24 teams have been divided into six groups of four teams each. Three of these groups will play their matches in Kolkata. Guwahati will host two groups and Kokrajhar in Assam will host one group.

The History

Founded and named after Mortimer Durand, a foreign secretary to British India, it was initially conducted as a tournament for the different departments and regiments of the Armed Forces of British India. It was opened to civilians only later. After India’s independence, the Indian Armed Forces remained in charge of the competition. Mortimer Durand himself started the Durand Cup in Shimla in 1888. In 1940, the venue of the tournament was later shifted to the capital New Delhi.

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Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful sides in the competition’s history as both of them have won 16 titles each and are miles ahead of the other teams who are in the fray. Bengaluru FC are the defending champions as they defeated Mumbai City FC in the last edition’s final.

The Teams

The last edition of the tournament had 20 teams and in 2023, a total of 24 teams will be battling it out for the Durand Cup crown. All the 12 clubs in the top tier of Indian football, which is the Indian Super League will be participating in the tournament, including the newly promoted side Punjab FC.

Moreover, it’s only the second time that all the ISL clubs are playing in the Durand Cup. In addition to that, clubs from I-League, I-League 2, and specially invited teams, which represent armed forces will also take part in the tournament. I-League sides such as Mohammedan SC, Gokulam Kerala, Shillong Lajong, Delhi, Rajasthan United, and Downtown Heroes, while Indian armed forces sides such as the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Bodoland, and Indian Army will also be taking part in the tournament. 

In addition to the Indian sides, Tribhuwan Army (Nepal) and Bangladesh Army have been invited by the competition organizers and they are also among the teams taking part in the 132nd Durand Cup.

The Venues

For just the second time in the Durand Cup’s history, the tournament will be taking place in more than one state as the club competition will be played across places like Kolkata, Guwahati, and Kokrajhar.

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Hence, the matches of the 2023 Durand Cup tournament will take place in six different stadiums, that are Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (known as Salt Lake Stadium), Kishore Bharati Krirangan, Mohun Bagan Ground, East Bengal Ground, Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, and the SAI Stadium.

Group A, B, and C – Kolkata // Group D, and Group E – Guwahati // Group F – Kokrajhar

The Groups & the Format

The 2023 Durand Cup group stages will feature a total of six different groups consisting of four teams each. All the teams will play against each other once and the first-placed team from all six groups will directly qualify to the quarterfinals stage. Also, the two best-ranked second-placed teams, according to other tables, will also qualify for the quarterfinals stage which will start after the group stages end.

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup EGroup F
Bangladesh ArmyIndian NavyBengaluru FCDowntown HeroesChennaiyin FCBodoland
East Bengal FCJamshedpur FCIndian Air ForceFC GoaDelhi FCIndian Army
Mohun Bagan SGMohammedan SCGokulam KeralaNorthEast UnitedHyderabad FCOdisha FC
Punjab FCMumbai City FCKerala BlastersShillong LajongTribhuwan ArmyRajasthan United

The winner of quarter-final 1 will play against the winner of quarter-final 2 in the first match of the last four, while the winner of quarter-final 3 will lock horns against the winner of quarter-final 4 in the second semi-final. The winners of the four quarterfinal matches will advance to the semi-final stage. In the semi-finals, the two teams that will prevail later go on to meet in the final for ultimate glory.

Durand Cup 2023 Fixtures

The 132nd edition of the Durand Cup will take place from 3rd August to 3rd September. Hence, the first match of the tournament will take place between Mohun Bagan SG and Bangladesh Army at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata. On the other hand, the group stage matches will end on August 22, with a stellar match between Bengaluru and Gokulam Kerala FC at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan stadium.

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Therefore, the knockout matches of the tournament will commence on August 24th. The quarter-final matches will be played from the 24th to the 27th of August and the semi-final fixtures will be played on the 29th and 31st August respectively. The winner of the 2023 Durand Cup will be crowned on the 3rd of September. Also, the 132nd edition of the iconic tournament will feature a total of 43 matches.

One Competition, Why Three Trophies?

Generally, when a team wins a competition, they are awarded a single Championship trophy. But the Durand Cup has defied this tradition, as the winning team is awarded with three different trophies. 

The Trophies are termed the President’s Cup, the Shimla Cup, and the Durand Cup. The President’s Cup was initially handed over by the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The President’s Cup, also known as ‘The Pride’ replaced the Viceroy’s trophy post-independence, and has ever since been awarded to the winning team.

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The Shimla Cup, on the other hand, was presented by the residents of Shimla – the original venue of the competition from 1888-1940 – as a sign of their unwavering love and passion for the beautiful game and the competition. Having been first awarded in 1904, the trophy has been in circulation since 1965.

Lastly, the Durand Cup is the original tournament trophy, which is also nicknamed the ‘Masterpiece’. The trophy has been awarded since 1965. Thus, the rich history and prestige of the Durand Cup, renders it one of the very few football competitions, to hand out three different trophies to the winning team.

Durand Cup Prize Money

The prize pool for Duran Cup 2023 is 89 lakh rupees. The detailed prize money is as follows:

  • Champion – Rs. 50 lakh
  • Runner-up – Rs. 30 lakh
  • Golden Ball – Rs. 3 lakh
  • Golden Boot – Rs 3 lakh
  • Golden Glove – Rs 3 lakh

Telecast & Streaming Details

The Durand Cup 2023 can be watched live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD. It can be live-streamed on Sony LIV. The tournament’s broadcasting rights have been acquired by the Sony Sports Network.

Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian football.

Liven Bose
Liven Bose
A die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter and Indian Football fan from Kolkata who dreams of seeing glorious and successful days ahead.

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