New Delhi: Its overall budget more than doubled to Rs 1.54 crore, the world`s third oldest football tournament -- the Durand Cup -- has hiked the winners` purse from Rs five lakh to Rs 20 lakh for its 124th edition to be held in October.
The overall budget of the tournament has gone up from Rs 43 lakh to Rs 1.54 crore.
While the runners-up will be rewarded with Rs 10 lakh, the third best team will get richer by Rs five lakh.
Defending champions Prayag United and Mumbai FC will be seen in action on the first day of the main round of the tournament, which starts on October 4.
While Prayag United will kick off the quarterfinal league stage with a match against qualifier A, Mumbai FC will take on the qualifier from group B.
Three teams have been divided into four groups, and all the matches from the quarterfinal league onwards will be played under floodlights.
The final has been slated for October 15, with the two semifinals scheduled to be held on October 12.
"We have increased the prize money and the overall budget of the tournament," said Maj Gen Manvinder Singh, GOC Delhi area and chairman of Standing Working Committee of Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTC) who assured that the next edition will be bigger and better than this one with the preliminary rounds to be held outside Delhi.
Asked about Dempo, who along with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan decided give the event a miss, tournament committee secretary MS Gill said they have not received any communication from the Goan outfit.
Group 1 comprises Prayag United, Salgaocar and qualifier A, group 2 has Mumbai FC, Sikkim United and qualifier B. In group 3, Pune FC, Air India and ONGC will fight for a semifinal berth while Hal, former champions Churchill Brothers and Army Red have been drawn in group 4.