NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation(AIFF) has confirmed the participation of Syria, DPR Korea, and Tajikistan in the second edition of the Intercontinental Cup in July this year. The tournament which will take place after the team returns from Kings Cup in Thailand, is set to take place between July 7-17 this year and will be the first set of games in charge of Igor Stimac in India.
The Blue Tigers come into the competition as defending champions, having won the inaugural edition in June last year after defeating Kenya in the final, courtesy a brace from skipper Sunil Chhetri. New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei were the other two teams to participate in the tournament.
AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das mentioned that the forthcoming Hero Intercontinental Cup will be an “acid test” for the Blue Tigers ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers which kick-off in September 2019.
"The AIFF and their partners FSDL have finalised an annual calendar for the Men's National Team. In June, the National Team is scheduled to participate in the King's Cup in Thailand where we play Curaçao in our first match, and then either Vietnam or Thailand. These matches will hold us in good stead for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers starting in September 2019,” he stated.
“I need to thank the respective Football Federations of Syria, Tajikistan, and DPR Korea for agreeing to come over for the four-nation event,” Mr. Das added.
All the four teams will be playing each other in a round robin phase, with the top two teams qualifying for the final. Syria, with a FIFA ranking of 83, are the highest ranked team in the tournament, followed by India on 101, Tajikistan on 120 and DPR Korea on 121.
The venue for the tournament will be decided soon.