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Durand Cup organisers want East Bengal to field senior team, writes to AIFF

11:00 PM IST 23/07/19
Durand Cup 2019
The Durand Cup organisers want East Bengal to field their strongest team even though ISL teams are sending their reserves side...

The Durand Cup organising committee has requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to advice East Bengal to field their strongest team in the upcoming edition of the tournament.

India’s oldest club competition organised by the Indian Army will be hosted after a gap of three years in Kolkata this year.

The organisers have invited 16 teams in total, which includes six teams from India’s top tier I-League, five teams from the Indian Super League (ISL), one team from the second division and four Services teams.

While it was a known fact that the ISL teams would send their reserves side and defending I-League champions Chennai City FC would send an all Indian squad, apparently, it was up to the three Kolkata sides to protect the sheen of the prestigious tournament.

But as it stands, the Red and Golds have decided to field their U19 side in the competition and as a result, the popularity of the competition is likely to take a hit.

Thus, the organisers want the Indian FA to intervene and ask the club to field their senior team so that the value of the tournament can be upheld.

The only question which arises now is whether the organisers or the AIFF can interfere in the squad selection of a team. It is the team management’s prerogative to select their squad for competitions.

It must be noted that the Durand organising committee has not asked the ISL clubs or Chennai City to field their strongest team and it remains to be seen how they can convince others to do the same.