The Hero Gold Cup 2019 will begin from Saturday, 9 February with Myanmar taking on Nepal before hosts India lock horns with Iran.
As the Indian women’s football team buckles itself, we take a look at the upcoming four-nation tournament.
The first of its kind tournament will be hosted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
All the matches of the upcoming landmark tournament will be jointly hosted by the Government of Odisha at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
Hero Gold Cup 2019: A Chance to Test Skills
The Indian team is currently ranked 62nd in FIFA’s world rankings for women. The tournament thus provides them with a major opportunity of rubbing shoulders with two teams currently ranked above them.
Among the four-team, Myanmar is the highest-ranked team in the competition. They have a FIFA ranking of 44. Iran comes in next with a world ranking of 60. Nepal, on the other hand, will enter the competition as the lowest-ranked team in the competition.
The tournament comes at an important juncture of time for the Indian team coached by Maymol Rocky. The Women in Blue will first be buckling up to defend their South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) crown in March before undertaking a crucial second round of the Olympic qualifiers in April.
In fact, Kushal Das, AIFF General Secretary, said that the main objective of the tournament was to provide the best of exposure to the women’s team for the second round preparation of the Olympic Qualifiers in April.
Indian Women Football Team’s Current Form
India enters the tournament at the back of some scintillating form. They have managed to record four consecutive victories in the friendly matches against Indonesia and Hong Kong.
In fact, they have defeated the latter two times on the trot.
What Did They Say?
“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,” Das explained.
“While our team has been playing in friendlies overseas, we feel hosting such a competition will boost the growing popularity of women’s football in India. Football followers in India deserve a chance to witness our national teams in action,” Das added.
“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. Kalinga Stadium stands ready to welcome the women’s teams for the 4-nation Gold Cup,” said Vishal Kumar Dev, Sports Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Odisha government.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) February 6, 2019
About Hero Gold Cup 2019
The inaugural Hero Gold Cup international tournament will be played at the Kalinga Stadium between 9th to 15th February.
The four-nation competition, the first such kind in India for the senior women’s team, will be organized by the All India Football Federation association with the Odisha government.
Women’s football team from India, Iran, Myanmar, and Nepal will feature in the competition. The Hero Gold Cup will be played in a round-robin format. The top two teams would be playing in the final scheduled to be played on February 15.
Hero Gold Cup Football Live Streaming
The inaugural Hero Gold Cup can be streamed live on Hotstar.
|February 9||Myanmar v Nepal||Bhubaneswar||16:00 IST|
|February 9||India v Iran||Bhubaneswar||19:00 IST|
|February 11||Myanmar v Iran||Bhubaneswar||16:00 IST|
|February 11||India v Nepal||Bhubaneswar||19:00 IST|
|February 13||Iran v Nepal||Bhubaneswar||16:00 IST|
|February 13||India v Myanmar||Bhubaneswar||19:00 IST|