MUMBAI: All India Football Federation president Praful Patel, while wishing the national women's team luck for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 has announced a bonus for the Blue Tigresses if the manages to reach the quarterfinals.
India take on Iran in the tournament opener at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai Thursday.
“I want to congratulate each and every one of you for making it to the final squad. We are all proud of you. There could not be a happier moment than us hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup on our home soil,” said Patel to the team via video conferencing.
“We all pray that you play well, and hope that you reach the quarterfinals. We will also award a prize money if you do so. It will be a proud moment for us all,” Patel declared.
After Thursday's game against Iran, India have been drawn against Chinese Taipei (January 23) and China PR (January 26) in Group A of the competition.
The top two from each of the three groups, along with the two best second placed teams from the groups will make it to the quarterfinals.
The Blue Tigresses had travelled to 6 countries for exposure tours in 2021 which included tours to Brazil, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Turkey, UAE and Bahrain.
Meanwhile, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das expressed his gratitude to the state governments of Jharkhand and Kerala for extending their infrastructural and logistical support to help the Indian women’s team prepare for the Asian Cup.
“I want to thank the Governments of Jharkhand and of Kerala for helping us prepare for the Women’s Asian Cup. We hope that you maintain the high intensity on the field which you have attained in the last few months. Keep up the hard work, passion, and the honest approach,” said Das.
Blue Tigresses Head Coach Thomas Dennerby thanked the AIFF management for encouraging the girls ahead of the crucial encounter, mentioning that the “girls are ready.”
“We thank all of you for those encouraging words. We feel prepared with all the sessions and matches that we have played. We will stay humble, respect our opponents, but give it our best shot in the match. I’m sure these girls will do well for India.”
The Blue Tigresses, also thanked the AIFF in unison for all the support, and the exposure tours which they felt have made them confident as a unit. Speaking on behalf of the team, Dalima Chibber and Aditi Chauhan mentioned: “We are extremely grateful for all the support. We won’t be playing for ourselves, but for the country as a whole and the future generation of players. Keep supporting us.”
The Blue Tigresses take on IR Iran in their opening match on Thursday. The match will kick off at 7.30 pm IST, and will be broadcast live on the Eurosports channel, and streamed live on Jio TV.