The 133rd edition of the IndianOil Durand Cup football tournament, the season opener of Indian Football, shall kick off on July 27, 2024, with the final scheduled for August 31 2024. This was announced by HQ Eastern Command of the Indian Army, on behalf of the Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS), which shall organise this year’s edition of Asia’s oldest football tournament. Continuing with its commitment to spread the reach of the Durand Cup further into the East and North-east, two new cities, Jamshedpur and Shillong, have been added as host cities this year. Kokrajhar in Assam shall be playing host for the second consecutive year, besides Kolkata, which has been a host for the last five years.

The 133rd edition shall see 24 teams with representation from the widest possible spectrum of Indian football, like the Indian Super League, I-League and other invitational teams, as well as teams from the Armed Forces. Also, like last year, international teams are expected to participate.

Commenting on the preparations, Lieutenant General Ram Chander Tiwari UYSM, AVSM, SM, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, said, “The Durand Cup is a source of immense pride for the Eastern Command. The event has become a cornerstone in the landscape of Indian football and a beacon of sporting excellence. Football is more than just a sport. It is a unifying force that brings together people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. It embodies the spirit of teamwork, perseverance, and fair play. The Durand Cup, with its long-standing tradition, epitomizes these values and continues to inspire countless young athletes to dream big and strive for excellence. We in the military take great pride in organising the Durand Cup and it also strengthens civil-military relationships in the country. We sincerely thank the State Governments of all four states for their unrelenting support. This year, the Durand Cup promises to be more exciting and competitive than ever before. I wish all involved yet another successful Durand Cup Tournament and may the best team win.”

A total of 43 matches would be played in a round-robin league-cum-knockout format, with the finals scheduled at the iconic Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK) in Kolkata. 24 teams will be divided into six groups. A total of eight teams – group toppers and two best second-placed sides would qualify for the knockout stage.

Kolkata will host three groups while Kokrajhar, Shillong and Jamshedpur will host one group each. The three coveted Durand Trophies will be flagged off for a nationwide tour from New Delhi on July 10, 2024, before they reach Kolkata ahead of the opening game on July 27 at the VYBK.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant are the defending champions, having won the tournament for a record 17th time, the most by any team, last year.

All matches of the 133rd edition of the Durand Cup would be broadcast LIVE on Sony Sports Network (SSN) as well as live-streamed on the SonyLiv OTT platform.