Durand Cup 2021 Preview: Groups, Schedule, Format & More

Durand Cup
The Durand Cup trophies

The 2021 Durand Cup is set to begin next week and 16 teams will be battling it out to be crowned the champions of the 130th edition of the historic football tournament.

The first civilian club to lift the Durand Cup, Mohammedan Sporting will face Indian Air Force FC on 5th September to kickstart the tournament. The tournament will take place at the Salt Lake Stadium and the Mohun Bagan Stadium in Kolkata with the Kalyani Municipality Stadium hosting a few matches as well.

Two Indian Super League giants in Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad will be seen making their debut in the 2021 edition of the prestigious tournament with fellow ISL sides Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, and Goa also involved.

Only one new I-League club FC has accepted AIFF’s invitation to join the tournament with Sudeva Delhi making their debut as well joining fellow I-League teams defending champions Gokulam Kerala and Mohammedan. Sudeva Delhi will become the first team from the capital city to feature in the tournament’s history when they face Jamshedpur on 6th September.

Only two I-League second division clubs will feature in the upcoming edition as Delhi FC and Bengaluru United will also be making their debuts in Durand Cup.

Five teams will represent the Ministry of Defense in Army Red, 2016 edition champions Army Green, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, and Assam Rifles with Central Reserve Police Force representing the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Group A 

Durand Cup debutants Bengaluru United has been drawn in Group A along with Indian Air Force, two-time champions Mohammedan, and CRPF. Four of the six group matches will take place in Kalyani with the Bengaluru-based debutants playing all of their group matches outside of Kolkata.

September 54:15 pmIndian Air Force vs MohammedanSalt Lake Stadium
September 63 pmCRPF vs Bengaluru UnitedKalyani Stadium
September 93 pmIndian Air Force vs Bengaluru UnitedKalyani Stadium
September 103 pmCRPF vs MohammedanKalyani Stadium
September 143 pmMohammedan vs Bengaluru UnitedKalyani Stadium
September 143 pmCRPF vs Indian Air ForceMohun Bagan Ground

Group B 

Jamshedpur vs Goa

Jamshedpur vs Goa

Two ISL teams in Jamshedpur and Goa will be competing with debutants Sudeva Delhi and 2016 edition champions Army Green in the Group B of 2021 Durand Cup.

September 63 pmJamshedpur vs Sudeva DelhiMohun Bagan Ground
September 73 pmGoa vs Army GreenSalt Lake Stadium
September 103 pmJamshedpur vs Army GreenMohun Bagan Ground
September 133 pmGoa vs Sudeva DelhiSalt Lake Stadium
September 173 pmJamshedpur vs GoaSalt Lake Stadium
September 173 pmArmy Green vs Sudeva DelhiMohun Bagan Ground

Group C 

Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru

Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru

Two ISL giants in Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru will be renewing their rivalry with a flavor of South Indian football as the young developmental sides of both clubs will be fighting it out to reach the knockout stages. I-League second division club Delhi and Indian Navy are also a part of Group C.

September 63 pmDelhi vs Indian NavyMohun Bagan Ground
September 113 pmKerala Blasters vs Indian NavySalt Lake Stadium
September 153 pmBengaluru vs Kerala BlastersSalt Lake Stadium
September 183 pmDelhi vs BengaluruMohun Bagan Ground
September 213 pmBengaluru vs Indian NavySalt Lake Stadium
September 213 pmDelhi vs Kerala BlastersMohun Bagan Ground

Also read: Bengaluru end AFC Cup 2021 journey with a bang; ATK Mohun Bagan wins Group D on the final day 

Group D 

Gokulam Kerala celebrates the Durand Cup 2019 win

Gokulam Kerala celebrates the Durand Cup 2019 win

Defending champions Gokulam Kerala have been drawn in Group D and will be playing all of their group matches in Kalyani Stadium with debutants Hyderabad, Army Red, and Assam Rifles set to compete with the I-League champions for two places in the knockout stages.

September 93 pmAssam Rifles vs Army RedSalt Lake Stadium
September 123 pmAssam Rifles vs HyderabadMohun Bagan Ground
September 123 pmGokulam Kerala vs Army RedKalyani Stadium
September 163 pmGokulam Kerala vs HyderabadKalyani Stadium
September 193 pmArmy Red vs HyderabadSalt Lake Stadium
September 193 pmAssam Rifles vs Gokulam KeralaKalyani Stadium


After a single round-robin format in the group stage, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stages. The four quarter-final matches are scheduled between September 23 and September 25.

The first semi-final will take place on September 27 whilst the second semi-final is scheduled for September 29. The 130th champions of the coveted Durand Cup will be crowned on 3rd October at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.