- NET Web Desk
The Manipur Chief Minister – N. Biren Singh today unveiled three trophies of the 134-year-old Durand Cup – Asia’s oldest football tournament, during a ceremony held on Wednesday at Imphal.
During the inaugural ceremony, Singh appealed the masses to support for the teams and encourage the players and organizers of the tournament, in order to demonstrate its sporting prowess.
The 131st Edition of the Durand Cup will be played across three states – Manipur, Assam and West Bengal; and feature a total of 47 games, with 10 games from groups C and D each being held in Guwahati and Imphal.
All seven knockout games will be held in three venues of West Bengal. The opening pool matches are slated to begin on August 16 at Kolkata’s VYBK, on August 17 at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium and August 18 at the Khuman Lampakh stadium with the renowned local derby between Neroca FC and TRAU FC.
Besides, the Manipur CM also expressed gratitude towards the Indian Army and the organizers of the Cup, for bringing the iconic tournament to Manipur.
The Chief Minister wished all success to the tournament and lauded the Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports – Govindas Konthoujam and his team for their relentless efforts.
He further noted that unveiling the ‘Durand Cup Trophies’ is like personally “walking down the memory lane”, as Singh attained the opportunity to play in the ‘1981 Durand Cup Tournament’ representing the Border Security Force (BSF).
Taking to Twitter, the Manipur CM wrote “It gives me immense joy to unveil the Durand Cup Trophy along with Hon’ble Minister Shri @KonthoujamG Ji & senior army officials. The unveiling of the Durand Cup trophy reminds me of the 1981 Durand Cup where I had the opportunity to play in the tournament representing the BSF.”
“With Manipur as one the hosts for the tournament, a total of 20 teams will play at the 131st edition of the historic Durand Cup that will commence on August 18 in Imphal.” – he further added.
With Manipur as one the hosts for the tournament, a total of 20 teams will play at the 131st edition of the historic Durand Cup that will commence on August 18 in Imphal. pic.twitter.com/DlBJptfV89
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) July 27, 2022
The unveiling ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports – Govindas Konthoujam; Chief Secretary – Dr. Rajesh Kumar; Major General – Navin Sachdeva; Major General Sharawat, IGAR (South); Lieutenant General (Retd) K. Himalaya Singh; distinguished guests from military and state administration; Padma-Shri and Arjuna Awardee – O. Bembem; Padma-Shri recipient – Rewben Mashangva; former Indian National player – P. Renedy Singh; among others.
Its worthy to note that the three trophies include – the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and first given by the residents of Shimla in 1904) and the President’s Cup (for permanent keep and first presented by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, India’s first President, in 1956).
Flagged-off from Kolkata on July 19, 2022, and after been in Guwahati for two days, the trophies have reached to Manipur’s Imphal.
It will then proceed towards Rajasthan’s Jaipur and then reach the final stop in Goa, before returning to Kolkata on July 31, 2022.