EB to tour Vietnam, skip Durand Cup
Kolkata: East Bengal will be competing in an international friendly tournament in Vietnam in October, giving a skip to the 124th edition of the Durand Cup in New Delhi, the club decided at its working committee meeting on Monday.
In their effort to give the players an international exposure ahead of the I-League 2011-12 season, the last year`s league runners-up and Federation Cup winners will be competing in the tournament at Go Dau Stadium, home venue of Vietnamese football club Becamex Binh Duong.
Known as BTV Cup, the Binh Duong Television Cup is an international tournament with clubs from Brazil among the participants.
This year the tournament will be held from October 2-15, clashing with the Durand Cup.
"It`s really painful that we will not be able to compete in Durand Cup this year. We were really keen to play in Durand Cup but at the same time, giving an international exposure was also necessary," said East Bengal football secretary Santosh Bhattacharya.
"We have in the past done well in the ASEAN Cup. It will be a new test for the boys with the likes of players from Brazil and Vietnam," he said.
In 2003, East Bengal became the first Indian club to win a continental competition of repute, when they won LG Asean Cup held at Jakarta beating BEC Tero Sasana in the final as they went on to win back to back National Football League titles in 2003 and 2004.
East Bengal also officially announced Abhra Mondal as the skipper for the upcoming season with Sanju Pradhan as his deputy. The working committee also approved of a theme song, `Aamar East Bengal` composed and sung by Subhayu Bhattacharya.