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Durnad Cup Trophies unveiled at Kokrajhar

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Kokrajhar: The Trophy unveiling ceremony for the Kokrajhar Chapter of 132nd Edition of Durand Cup, was held at Kokrajhar with Shri Kalyan Chaubey, Hon’ble President, All India Football Federation (AIFF) as the Chief Guest and Major General Dinesh Hooda, VSM, Chief of Staff, Gajraj Corp,s as the Chief Host.

The three trophies of the historical Durand Cup were jointly unveiled by Shri Kalyan Chaubey, Major General Dinesh Hooda, Shri. Promod Boro, Chief Executive Member, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Major General M Mahendroo, MG ASC, Eastern Command and Vice Chairman Durand Organising Committee, Smt. Nandita Gorlosa, Hon’ble Minister, Sports and Youth Welfare, Assam and Major General S Murugesan, General Officer Commanding Red Horns Division.

Ms. Apurna Narzary, U-20 1ndian Women Football team captain, and members of the press and local sports enthusiasts were also present during the unveiling ceremony. The Trophy unveiling was followed by Bodo Cultural fiesta which included Bardwi Sikhla folk dance, Bihu Dance and a performance by famous musician and world record holder, Dr Gwmwtao Basumatary.

Addressing all present Shri. Boro said, “An unwavering devotion towards the Motherland & an undying passion for football, these sentiments define BTR. Proud to welcome the grand Trophy Tour of the 132nd edition of the historic Durand Cup in Kokrajhar, the City of Peace and amidst the rousing chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”!”

The 132nd Edition of the reputed Durand Cup football tournament, organized by the Indian Army on behalf of the three Services, is the only tournament in the country which pits Service Teams along with the top teams from different football divisions of India. Tournament is set to kick-off on August 03, 2023 at Kolkata with Kokrajhar hosting nine matches including one Quarter Final Match. Match between Bodoland FC and Rajasthan United FC will be the opening game on 05 August 2023. All matches will be played at the SAl stadium, Kokrajhar.

The Quarter final in Kokrajhar is scheduled on 24 August 2023 and the final match is scheduled on 03 September 2023 in Kolkata. Kokrajhar is playing host to the Durand Cup for the first time.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Shri Kalyan Chaubey complimented the BTC for making exceptional progress in promotion of sports in recent times with the young athletes representing Indian teams across disciplines. In this context he said that the staging of such premiere national tournaments, gives a further boost, to the region’s young and talented footballers, as they get an opportunity to see their favourite teams and stars play in front of them. He extended best wishes to all the participating teams and thanked the Indian Army for organizing this iconic tournament in Kokrajhar with absolute efficiency and professionalism.

Maj. Gen. Dinesh Hooda, VSM, Chief of Staff, Gajraj Corps also addressed the gathering and spoke about the rich traditions of the Durand Cup, the three trophies and long association with the Indian Armed Forces. He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Assam and the Bodoland Territorial Council for providing Armed forces with wholehearted support for the tournament.

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, 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 on a 15 cities Tour on Friday, 30 June, in Delhi, by Chief of Army Staff -General Manoj Pande, Chief of Air Staff- Air Chief Marshal VK Chaudhary, and Shri Kalyan Chaubey, President, AIFF. Kokrajhar was the fourteenth stop in the tour. Before embarking upon Kokrajhar, the trophies have already visited the cities of Dehradun, Udhampur, Jaipur, Pune, Mumbai, Karwar, Ezhimala, Kochi, Guwahati and Shillong. Trophies will also visit Kathmandu and Dhaka, before flagging-in at Kolkata, the venue of the finals. Trophy tour of Kokrajhar city escorted by 30 Bikers including five lady bikers visited places like Pragati Bhawan, Civil Hospital (RNB Road), KDSA Playground, Habrubari and SAl Complex among others.

This year the Durand Cup will have 24 teams including all 12 Indian Super League (ISL) teams. Service teams from Bangladesh and Nepal, will also be participating in the legacy tournament. Last occasion when the foreign teams participated in the tournament was 27 years ago. The Bodoland FC will be taking part for the first time in Durand Cup which is a rare feat for the local club of Kokrajhar.

Matches in Kokrajhar will start on 05 August at SAl stadium with a spectacular opening ceremony wherein for the first time in the history of Kokrajhar, special events like fly past by Air Force aircrafts, Sky Diving and display of Bodo cultural dance by local artists and martial arts by Indian Army will be organised. The event will be graced by the presence of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri and many dignitaries from civil and the Army.

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