The three glittering Trophies of the historic century-old Durand Cup Football tournament were unveiled in Pink city Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, at a ceremony that saw the 131st Durand Cup 2022 Trophy Tour make its fourth stop in the city. The Trophies were unveiled by Magan Singh Rajvi, the former Indian Football Team Captain and Arjuna Awardee, in the presence of Lt. Gen. Kamal Kumar Repswal, SM, VSM, Chief of Staff, Eastern Command and Chairman Durand Organising Committee.
Rajendra Gudha, State Minister Sainik Kalyan Board, Govt of Rajasthan were also present there.
Rajasthan United FC (RUFC), is all set to be the first club in close to five decades to represent the state after a Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) side featuring among others the legendary Magan Singh Rajvi, finished runner-up, going down to BSF 1-2 in the final of the 1973-74 edition. RUFC is the state’s first professional football club and plays in the second tier I-league. The team is clubbed in Group B along with likes of ATK Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mumbai City FC and will play all its group matches in West Bengal.
Speaking on the occasion, Magan Singh Rajvi, said, “This is a monumental occasion in the history of football in Rajasthan we are confident that the path shown by RUFC will soon catch on like wild fire. Besides them being the first club from the state to be playing in the I-league, the state team also this time qualified for the final rounds of the Santosh Trophy. This clearly shows that football in Rajasthan is on the upward swing and the state Government is serious about promoting the game in the state. We wish RUFC a very successful Durand Cup.”
Also sharing his thoughts Lt. Gen. Repswal, SM, VSM, SM, VSM, Chief of Staff, Eastern Command and Chairman Durand Organising Committee, said, “One of our aims with the Durand Cup is to spread the game to new and different corners of the country. Getting the Durand to Jaipur and the state of Rajasthan is a step in that direction. Rajasthan is making rapid strides in the game recently and we are sure that very soon we will have the state producing players for India in droves.”
The Durand Cup will be bigger and better this year with 20-top teams of the country, including all 11 teams from the top division Indian Super League (ISL) participating. This is up from 16-teams last year.
The iconic Durand Cup trophies were flagged-off from Kolkata on July 19th and reached Guwahati in Assam on July 21st. After their tour of Manipur, they proceeded to Jaipur, and will then go to Goa, before returning to Kolkata, where the Grand Finale is scheduled for September 18, 2022, at the hallowed Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), also popularly referred to as the Saltlake stadium in local parlance.
The three trophies, the Durand Cup (a rolling trophy and the original prize), the Shimla Trophy (also a rolling trophy and first given by the residents 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) post the unveiling, were taken to the historic Imphal Polo ground where the game of Polo first originated, escorted by a spectacular 100 bikes rally. From there it proceeded to Leimakhong, a small hill-town and the Divisional headquarters of the Indian Army.
Inputs & Pics: South Western Command, Indian Army
Report – Pratyusha Mukherjee