Manipur hosts Duran Cup, Biren unveils trophies

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Imphal: For the first time, Manipur will host 10 group matches of the Durand Cup, the oldest football tournament in Asia, from August 18 – September 5.

The 131st edition of the cup will be played in Manipur, Assam and West Bengal.

Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Wednesday unveiled the trophies for the 131st Edition of the Durand Cup 2022 at the City Convention Centre, here.

In a historic moment, all three Durand Trophies, the President’s Cup, the Durand Cup and the Shimla Trophy have reached Imphal and were unveiled by the Chief Minister during the ceremony.

The chief minister appealed to the people of the state to come out and enjoy the matches and encourage the players and organizers of the Cup, who have brought the Cup to the State to provide exposure to the State’s sporting talents.

“It is indeed a matter of great pride and privilege to be present at the monumental event of unveiling ceremony of trophies for the 131st edition of the Durand Cup, 2022,” Biren said. He thanked the Indian Army and the organisers of the cup for bringing the iconic tournament to the “Football passionate State of Manipur.”

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​“I wish the 131st edition of Durand Cup 2022 all the very best and I assure all support in making the tournament bigger and better than the previous years,” he said and wished the participating teams.

​He said Manipur is one of the states producing the highest number of Indian Super League players.

​Stating that he had himself played in the tournament as a Left defender for BSF in the 1981 edition in which his team won the trophy at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi, the chief minister said Durand Cup matches happening in Imphal is like personally walking down the memory lane.

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He wished all success to the tournament and also appreciated YAS minister Govindas Konthoujam and his team for their efforts.

Biren highlighted the sacrifices of the Indian Army for the nation and said that to further strengthen the bond with the armed forces, the Cabinet reviewed the remuneration awarded for gallantry award winners of the armed forces. He said earlier, only a paltry amount was awarded which we have enhanced significantly this time to Rs 25 lakh.

He said Manipur has the highest per capita officers in Armed forces in the country and further congratulated the Red Shield Division in their initiative to launch an outreach program to train and groom the youth of Manipur for entry into NDA, IMA and OTA and further assured assistance to the Red Shield Division.

The unveiling ceremony was also attended by Govindas, chief secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, lieutenant general KK Repswal, chief of staff, Eastern Command and chairman Durand Organising Committee, major general Navin Sachdeva, major general Sharawat, IGAR (South), lieutenant general (retd) K. Himalaya Singh, distinguished guests from military and state administration, Padma Shri and Arjuna Awardee footballer O. Bembem, Padma Shri Awardee Rewben Mashangva, former Indian National player P. Renedy Singh among others.

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The 131st edition of the Durand Cup will be played at the five venues of Khuman Lampak Stadium (Imphal), Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium (Guwahati), Naihati Stadium (Naihati), Kishore Bharati Krirangan and Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (Kolkata).

Altogether 20 teams, including defending champions FC Goa and runners up from last year, Mohammedan Sporting, 11 teams from the Indian Super League, four Services team, NEROA FC, TRAU FC, SUDEVA FC of Delhi and Rajasthan United FC will play in this edition of the Durand Cup.

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