Mamata inaugurates iconic Durand Cup, held for first time in the city in 129-year history
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Durand Cup, held for the first time in Kolkata in the cup's storied 129 year history. The cup, which is organised by the Army in Delhi for over a century, is the oldest football cup in Asia.
Banerjee went to the Swami Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the venue of the match, where she was introduced to the players of Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting.
While addressing the gathering to celebrate the centenary of East Bengal at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Thursday, she had invited the people to come and see the match.
It may be mentioned that the ambience of Swami Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan has totally changed following the initiative of the Chief Minister. The stadium was the host of a couple of World Cup Under-19 matches, including the final.
The football organisers and FIFA representatives who had visited the stadium had praised Banerjee for hosting a mega football show.
The land adjacent to the stadium which had been covered by bushes and was used as a dumping ground, has now been given a new look. The chairs of the stadium have been replaced and a state-of-the-art dressing room for the players has been built, along with new restrooms.
Following her inspiration, footballs are being manufactured in large scale at two places in Howrah, which are also being sent to foreign countries. The footballs have cleared vigorous quality tests and two well known clubs are likely to use them for matches.