Durand Cup: Oldest Football Tournament of India

durand cup

The Durand Cup started in India in 1888, even before the establishment of Mohun Bagan FC. Durand Cup is not only the first official football tournament in India but also in Asia as well as the third official tournament in the world. The cup has been named after Sir Mortimer Durand, who founded the cup in India.

The History of Durand cup

Sir Mortimer Durand wanted to instill the importance of physical fitness in the Indian Army and eventually into the Indian public, so he decided to start a football championship and offer a price to the winners. Hence, he started the football cup, which was eventually named after him among the then Indian Army players.  Initially, it was confined to just the army man and the army grounds. But, later on, the tournament widened its appeal by the spread of the word and became open for the civilians also. The biggest administrative and decisive changes that the tournament has seen were in 2006 when the Indian Army handed over the administration of the tournament to the civilians. 

The British Era

Before Independence, The Durand Cup matches were just reserved for the British Army, the Indian army and various other troops and military forces like Provincial frontier, security regiments and other volunteer regiments. The Indian army players mostly preferred playing hockey as compared to football, but the Nepalese and Gurkha regiment members were interested in football. In 1888 the first-ever Durand cup tournament was played between the then Indian and British army officers.

The Inaugural final match of the first Durand Cup was a Scottish derby played between Royal Scotts Fusiliers vs Highland Light Infantry. The Royal Scotts Fusiliers were the winners of the first-ever Durand cup final. 

Durand Cup post Independence

After Independence, the Durand Cup matches were played on the grounds of Shimla. But, then the Army headquarters shifted to Delhi, hence the Durand cup playgrounds were also shifted in Delhi and the matches were played at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. 

The Indian Army teams that play for the Durand cup are Indian Air force, Army Green, Army Red, Indian Navy, Punjab Border Security Force, and Army XI. Army Green won the Durand Cup tournament in 2016 and Army XI won the Durand Cup in 2005.

The Border Security Force sports club is located in Jalandhar Punjab. The team currently plays for Punjab State Super Football League and is known as The Punjab Border Security Force. The team is mainly known for playing in the Durand Cup. The team has won the Durand Cup seven times: in 1968-69, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1976, 1981,1988. The team is one of the strongest contestants in the Durand Cup.

These are the Army teams that are participating in the tournament. The other Prominent teams playing in Durand Cup are Mohun Bagan, East Bengal FC, and The Goa football club teams. In 2003 the Goan team Salgaoncar won the title, then in 2006 Dempo SC defeated JCT mill and won the championship. Another team that has dominated the win over Durand cup are Churchill brothers who have won the tournament in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

The Durand Cup was postponed twice during the two world wars. Other than that the tournament has been played every year until 2016. Then the tournament took a three-year break and was relaunched this year (in 2019) with a new zest and zeal. 

The winners of this trophy are given three trophies: The President’s Cup, The Durand Cup, and The Shimla trophy.

List of the Durand Cup tournaments and their winners:

Year TeamScore
1888Royal Scotts Fusiliers2-1
1889Highland Light Infantry8-1
1890Highland Light Infantry2-0
1891King’s Own Scottish Borderers2-0
1892King’s Own Scottish Borderers3-1
1893Highland Light Infantry2-1
1894Highland Light Infantry2-1
1895Highland Light Infantry1-0
1896Somerset Light Infantry6-1
1897Black Watch1-0
1898Black Watch4-0
1899Black Watch3-0
1900South Wales Borderers2-0
1901South Wales Borderers2-1
1902Hampshire Regiment2-1
1903Royal Irish Rifles2-1
1904North Staffordshire Regiment1-0
1905Royal Dragons 2-0
1906Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)2-1
1907Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)2-0
1908Lancashire Fusiliers2-0
1909Lancashire Fusiliers2-0
1910Royal Scotts2-0
1911Black Watch1-0
1912Royal Scotts1-0
1913Lancashire Fusiliers2-0
1914-1919The tournament postponedWorld War 1
1920Black Watch2-0
1921Worcestershire Regiment1-0
1922Lancashire Fusiliers1-0
1923Cheshire Regiment1-0
1924Worcestershire Regiment2-0
1925Sherwood Foresters2-0
1926Durham Light Infantry1-0
1927York and Lancaster Regiment1-0
1928Sherwood Foresters4-0
1929York and Lancaster Regiment3-0
1930York and Lancaster Regiment2-0
1931Devonshire Regiment3-0
1932King’s Shropshire light infantry2-1
1933King’s Shropshire light infantry3-0
1934Royal Signals3-1
1935Border Regiment1-0
1936Argyll and Sutherland highlanders2-0
1937Border Regiment3-1
1938South Wales Borderer2-0
1939Tournament not heldWorld War II
1940Mohammedan sporting club2-1
1941-1949Tournament put on holdWorld War II and Partition
1950Hyderabad city police2-2,1-0
1951East Bengal club1-1,2-1
1952East Bengal club1-0
1953Mohun Bagan AC4-0
1954Hyderabad city police1-1,1-0
1955Madras Regimental center3-2
1956East Bengal club2-0
1957Hyderabad City Police2-1
1958Madras Regimental Center2-0
1959Mohun Bagan AC1-1,3-1
1960Mohun Bagan AC and East Bengal club were joint winners1-1, 0-0
1961Andhra Pradesh Police1-0
1962Tournament postponedIndo-China war
1963Mohun Bagan AC0-0,2-0
1964Mohun Bagan AC2-0
1965Mohun Bagan AC2-0
1966Gorkha Brigade2-0
1967East Bengal club1-0
1968Border Security Force1-0
1969Gorkha Brigade1-0
1970East Bengal club2-0
1971Border Security force0-0,1-0
1972East Bengal club0-0,2-0
1973Border Security Force2-1
1974Mohun Bagan AC3-2
1975Border Security Force1-1,2-1
1976Border Security force and JCT mills were joint winners
1977Mohun Bagan AC`1-1,2-1
1978East Bengal club3-0
1979Mohun Bagan AC1-0
1980Mohun Bagan AC1-0
1981Border Security Force1-0
1982Mohun Bagan AC and East Bengal club were joint winners0-0
1983JCT Mills 2-1
1984Mohun Bagan AC2-0
1985Mohun Bagan AC0-0(aet, 3-2 pens)
1986Mohun Bagan AC1-0
1987JCT Mills1-0
1988Border Security Force3-2
1989East Bengal club0-0(aet 3-1 pens)
1990East Bengal club3-2
1991East Bengal club1-1 ( aet, 5-3 pens)
1992JCT Mills1-0
1993East Bengal club1-0
1994Mohun Bagan AC1-0
1995East Bengal club0-0 (aet 4-3pens)
1996JCT Mills1-0
1997FC Kochin 3-1
1998Mahindra & Mahindra2-1
1999Salgaocar sports club0-0 ( aet, 3-2 pens)
2000Mohun Bagan Ac1-1,1-0
2001-02Mahindra United5-0
2002-03East Bengal club3-0
2003-04Salgaocar sports club1-1 (aet, 4-3 pens)
2004East Bengal club2-1
2005Army XI0-0 (aet, 5-4pens)
2006Dempo sports club1-0
2007Churchill brothers SC1-0
2008Mahindra United3-2
2009Churchill brothers SC3-1
2010Prayag United1-0
2011 Churchill Brothers SC5-4
2012Air India3-2
2013Mohammedan Sporting club2-1
2014Salgaocar FC1-0
2016Army Green0-0 (aet, 6-5 pens)
2019Gokulan Kerala2-1

So, this is all you want to know about the Durand Cup. If you know of something else do let us know in the comment section.


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