Indian women's football team to participate in Turkish women's cup.
by Chirag R Bhattad
Ankara: The Indian senior women's football team will embark on an exposure tour to Turkey where it will be playing in the Turkish Women's Cup from February 27. India have been clubbed with Romania, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group A, while France (B), Jordan, Northern Ireland and hosts Turkey make up Group B.
Every team will play each other in the group once, with the group-toppers making it to the final. There will also be matches for the 3rd and the 4th slot, the 5th and the 6th slot, and the 7th and the 8th places.
The tournament is part of the Indian team's preparation for the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 (in April) and also the SAFF Women's Championship scheduled in March. Since January, the girls have played seven international matches that includes their exposure tours to Hong Kong and Indonesia, and the Hero Gold Cup in Bhubaneswar.
All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das said that the aim is to "provide a fool proof preparation" for the women's senior team ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2.
"We are committed to provide the best of exposure to the senior women's team. The experience of playing against stronger teams will serve them in good stead prior to the SAFF Championship, and obviously the Olympic Qualifiers," he said.
"I need to thank the SAI and the MYAS for their support," Das added.
National team director Abhishek Yadav, also a former India team captain, mentioned that "playing more matches will make the girls more confident".
The squad will leave India on February 20 and play its first match against Uzbekistan on February 27.