AIFF Media Team
JAMSHEDPUR: After setting up camp in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand for around a month, the Indian Women’s Football Team will travel abroad on an exposure tour as part of their preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which is set to take place in India next year.
Earlier, Head coach Thomas Dennerby had stressed on the importance of playing competitive matches in their preparation for the continental tournament. Now, the Indian eves are set to leave for UAE on Thursday, September 30, where they will play two friendlies against the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia.
After the two friendlies in the UAE, the Indian Women’s Team will then travel to Bahrain to play two more friendlies against Bahrain and Chinese Taipei.
That is likely to be followed by a brief stint in Sweden, where they are set to face two Damallsvenskan league teams, subject to permission to Indian citizens arriving in Sweden from relevant authorities.
“Besides the four matches against UAE, Tunisia, Chinese Taipei and Bahrain, we also have two confirmed matches against two Swedish premier league teams. We are in the process of sorting out the travel protocol to the country as entry of Indian citizens to Sweden is still not open yet,” Head Coach Thomas Dennerby stated.
“I appreciate the efforts of the AIFF in finding us teams willing to play matches against us under such circumstances,” he added.
“We have been training in Jamshedpur for a month, in our quest to prepare for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2020. Unfortunately, the current pandemic situation is tough and the reality is that there are different quarantine restrictions in different countries which kills many options for the Indian teams as entry for Indians in some countries is either still not yet open, or involves a major quarantine period,” Dennerby expressed.
The Head Coach had already spoken about the importance of playing quality matches to get the girls match fit ahead of the big tournament, and he believes that the friendlies in UAE and Bahrain will help the team assess itself.
“The matches in UAE and Bahrain will allow us to judge ourselves where we stand against some good competitive opponents. Teams need to build up their defence, and also the build-up process, and all of that is judged in an international match,” the coach expressed.
The Indian Women’s Team, as part of their preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, will be based out of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, training in facilities provided by the Jharkhand Government.
“It’s difficult to arrange such things during a pandemic, and it has been very helpful to have the facilities to train in Jamshedpur. The Jharkhand Government has left no stone unturned in providing us with the necessary facilities, and we are all thankful for that,” he said. “I hope with the correct mixture of training and friendlies against quality opponents, we can be more than ready for the Asian Cup.”