Desk. Heavyweights Mohun Bagan will kick off the historic Durand Cup at the Saltlake Stadium here on August 2 after the third oldest competition football tournament of the world has been shifted out its traditional venue, New Delhi for the first time.
Returning after a three-year hiatus, the 129th edition of the tournament will feature six I-League and five Indian Super League teams, including defending champions of the respective tournaments — Chennai City FC and Bengaluru FC.
“We took a three-year gap to make it more attractive. Kolkata is the mecca of Indian football. So, it’s an effort to revamp the tournament and make it a pan-India affair,” Lt Gen RP Kalita, Chief of Staff, HQ Eastern Command told reporters here.
Former I-League champions Minerva Punjab, however, will be missed from the 16-team tournament which will also feature second division I-League team Mohammedan Sporting.