The Indian women’s football team will be travelling to Spain to play in the COTIF Tournament from August 1-6, 2018, the All India Football Federation announced on Thursday. This is the first time ever that the team is travelling to Europe to participate in a tournament. Also Read - India's Postponed 2022 FIFA WC Qualifier Matches to be Played in March And June Next Year
The team will also be defending their title in the SAFF Women’s Championship scheduled to be held later this year, a tournament in which the girls are unbeaten in their last 19 matches. The squad will be leaving Indian shores early morning tomorrow. Also Read - Gurpreet: Men Can Also Take a Leaf Out of Bala Devi's 'Path Breaking' Journey
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das wished the team luck and said, “This is a very important trip especially with the Olympic Qualifiers being around the corner. Women in Indian sports are achieving laurels at the highest level and the Indian Women’s Hockey Team are currently unbeaten in the Hockey World Cup. The AIFF has extensive plans for Women’s Football in India and all of you are part of the plan. Good luck for the tournament.” Also Read - I-League Likely to be Postponed to December End in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic
Head coach Maymol Rocky stated that the team is looking forward to the challenge. “It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for us to assess ourselves against the European opponents as well as Morocco National Team. We’re eagerly waiting for it to begin and will put up a brave fight,” she said.
“The girls are thrilled to be a part of the historic first-ever exposure trip to Europe. We’re thankful to All India Football Federation and the SAI for arranging the exposure trip which will eventually help us gaining invaluable experiences for the future endeavours,” she added.
Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan felt it’s “great” to have the exposure tour to Europe. “This exposure tour wouldn’t have been possible had not AIFF and SAI arranged it for us. The tour to Europe is a historic one and it will help us overcome the mental barrier of playing against girls in Europe and Africa,” she maintained.
India’s fixtures stay as follows:
August 1: India vs Fundación Albacete.
August 3: India vs Levante U.D.
August 5: India vs Morocco.
August 6: India vs Madrid C.F.
The 20-member squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: E. Panthoi Chanu, Aditi Chauhan, O. Roshni Devi.
Defenders: L. Ashalata Devi, Manisha Panna, Th. Umapati Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Dalima Chhibber, Ng. Sweety Devi.
Midfielders: Sangita Basfore, Sanju, I. Prameshori Devi, M. Mandakini Devi, Indumathi Kathiresan.
Forwards: Y. Kamala Devi, Anju Tamang, N. Ratanbala Devi, Ng. Bala Devi, Dangmei Grace, R. Sandhiya Ranganathan.