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Bhubaneswar to host women’s 4-nation football tournament

BHUBANESWAR, FEB 9: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will organise the Hero Gold Cup, a four-nation competition, from February 9 to 15 at Kalinga Stadium here.

It is organised in association with the Odisha government.

The tournament will see women’s national teams from India, Iran, Myanmar and Nepal lock horns with each other.

The final face-off between the two top teams will be held on February 15.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said, “The tournament is meant to provide an opportunity to the Indian team to face other teams in a competitive format. This will warm up the teams ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Qualification Round 2.”

In November, the Indian team crossed a significant barrier by qualifying for the second round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualifier for the first time.

Interestingly, the other three teams are also in the fray of the Olympic qualifiers Round 2.

While Myanmar is ranked ninth, Iran is ranked 11th, India stands on the 12th position and Nepal is positioned 20th in Asia, according to the latest available FIFA rankings for women.

“Through our collaboration with the AIFF, we have already made Odisha the youth football hub by housing the Under-15 and Under-19 teams in the state. We are also committed to the development of women’s football and our support to the Gold Cup is one of the many things we plan to do on that front,” said state Sports Secretary Vishal Dev.

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