DURAND CUP CANCELLED - THE INDIAN LEAGUE

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

DURAND CUP CANCELLED


Indian Super League has taken another toll in Indian Football with Durand Cup, the World's third Oldest Football Tournament after English FA Cup and Scottish Cup, becoming its latest victim. Its Organisers, Durand Football Tournament Society and Osians have decided to scrap the tournament citing lack of sponsor interest.

Durand Cup, started in 1888 and named after its founder, Sir Mortimer Durand, the Foreign Secretary in-charge of India from 1884 to 1894, and has been an annual affair ever since. It has been suspended thrice previously due to World War I (1914-19), World War II (1939. 1941-49) and Indo-China War (1962).

The Organisers have blamed the loss of Sponsor interest as the main reason for scrapping the Prestigious tournament. As most of the top Indian Players would be on loan to ISL Franchisees, the participating clubs would have to field second string teams which did not appeal to potential sponsors. Also, the tournament being organised during October/November, when most of the media will be busy with ISL, did not help its case.

With this, Durand Cup has joined Rovers Cup, Federation Cup and DCM Trophy in the list of Dead Football Tournaments. IFA Shield, another Prestigious Tournament, has been reduced to an U19 event. Federation Cup, India's FIFA approved Cup Tournament was scrapped last year by AIFF to make room for ISL.

This development means that India's Professional Clubs like Bengaluru FC, Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal FC and many others are left with only I-League to ply their trade in, which is also struggling for existence in the era of Indian Super League.

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