The Indian Women’s National Team will be facing the Islamic Republic of Iran in their first match on the opening day of the Hero Gold Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhuwaneshwar.
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. Along with India and Iran, the tournament will also feature the Senior National Women’s National Teams of Myanmar and Nepal.
AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das mentioned “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 teams in action,” Mr. Das stated.
“I need to thank the Government of Odisha and the SAI for their help,” he added.
For the record, Myanmar are ranked 44 in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, followed by Iran on 60, and Nepal on 108, while the Indian women, 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.
Mr. Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports and Youth Department of the Government of Odisha highlighted Odisha Government’s commitment for 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, and 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 stated.
Hero Gold Cup – Fixturs
Myanmar vs Nepal (4pm)
India vs IR Iran (7pm)
Myanmar vs IR Iran (4pm)
India vs Nepal (7pm)
IR Iran vs Nepal (4pm)
India vs Myanmar (7pm)