India will take on Iran in their first match of the Hero Women’s Football Gold Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on February 9.
Along with India and Iran, the tournament will also feature Myanmar and Nepal.
The four-nation tournament, the first such competition for the Senior Women’s National team in India, is being organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in association with the Government of Odisha.
According to AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, “the primary objective is to provide the best of exposure to the women’s team as they prepare for the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers in April.”
“The Hero Gold Cup is meant to provide additional opportunity for the Indian Women’s National Team to face other powerful teams in a competitive format. While our team has been playing in friendlies overseas, we feel hosting such a competition will boost the growing popularity of girls’ football in India. Football followers in India deserve a chance to witness our national team in action,” he said.
For the record, Myanmar are ranked 44 in the FIFA Women’s Ranking, followed by Iran on 60, and Nepal on 108, while the Indian team coached by Maymol Rocky, are on 62.
It was in November that the Blue Tigresses qualified for the second round of the AFC Olympic Qualifiers for the first time. As part of the optimal development and preparation of the squad, the team has already kicked off a campaign involving a series of friendly matches against national teams, where they have won their last four matches, two each against Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Youth Department said the hosting of the tournament proves Odisha Government’s commitment towards promotion of sporting activities.
“It was a pleasure that AIFF came forward with the proposal for the Women’s Gold Cup. Odisha’s commitment towards sports,especially promotion of women’s football is well-known. Having hosted a successful Hockey World Cup, the Kalinga Stadium stands ready to welcome the women’s teams for the four-nation Gold Cup,” he said.
February 9: Myanmar vs Nepal, India vs Iran
February 11:Myanmar vs Iran, India vs Nepal
February 13: Iran vs Nepal. India vs Myanmar
February 15: Final
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