Durand Cup to commence in Goa on Oct 28

Mumbai: The 127th edition of the Durand Cup football tournament, carrying a prize money of Rs 50 lakh, is to be conducted in Goa from October 28 to November 9.

The tournament, which was first played in 1888 and is the third oldest in the world, is being held under the aegis of Indian Army`s Headquarter, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area, said a Defence media release today.

The tournament is to be conducted in two phases. The qualifying phase would see 12 to 16 teams grouped into pools, with the top two teams advancing to the main tournament.

To give local teams an opportunity to take part in this historic tournament some first division teams from Goa would be invited to participate in the qualifier phase of the tournament.

The tournament is being held outside Delhi for the first time in its long history and in Goa this year to facilitate the people of the state, who have a known passion for football, to witness some of the top Indian I-League and military football teams in action, the release said.

Lieutenant General P R Shankar, General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area, visited Goa earlier this month to assess the various venues and preliminary arrangements.

He also chaired a meeting of the top officials of Goa Football Association, Goa Football Development Council, Sports Authority of Goa and some prominent club owners on the conduct of Durand Cup 2014, by 2 Signal Training Centre, Goa.

Multiple events like Army Symphony Band, malkhambh, kalaripayattu, parachute drops, army weapon and equipment display are also planned to be interspersed with the tournament this year.

Entrance for all events would be free of cost for spectators and the military displays are to be spread all over Goa, the release added.