Udhampur: The trophy tour for the 132nd edition of the historic Durand Cup Football tournament, reached Udhampur, the Headquarters of the Northern Command of the Indian Army in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, on Monday. The three glittering Durand trophies were received amidst much fervour by the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Northern Command as well as Mr Nazeer Andrabi, President of the Jammu & Kashmir Football Federation, among other dignitaries.
The three Trophies unique to the tournament are, the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and first given by the resident 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). The trophies were jointly flagged-off for a 17-city Trophy Tour on Friday, Jun 30, 2023, in Delhi, by General Manoj Pande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, Air Chief Marshal VK Chaudhary, Chief of Air Staff and Shri. Kalyan Chaubey, President, All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Udhampur is the third-stop in the tour after the Trophies travelled to Dehradun on Sunday. The other cities that the tour will cover include Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Karwar, Kochi, Ezhimala, Bengaluru, Willington, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Shillong and Aizawl, before flagging-into Kolkata in August 01, 2023.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant General Anindya Sengupta, UYSM, AVSM, YSM said, “The legend of Durand originated in Shimla in 1888. It is an honour and a pleasure to be receiving the Durand trophies here and a momentous occasion. Football is the most popular sport in the world for a reason and the Indian Army is proud to be associated with a globally renowned tournament like the Durand Cup. I wish all the teams the very best in the tournament including our friendly neighbouring Service teams from Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
The ceremony was attended by players of various local football clubs, school children, NCC Cadets, Officers, JCOs and Troops of Udhampur Garrison. The 132nd Durand Cup begins on August 03, 2023, in Kolkata, its newest home, with the finals slated for September 03, 2023, all at the Yoba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), in the city. This time the Durand Cup will have 24 teams, up from 20 last time, including all 12 Indian Super League (ISL) sides. Teams from foreign countries will also be participating in the legacy tournament after a gap of 27 years.