Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 19 (ANI): All India Football Federation President Praful Patel on Wednesday interacted with the women's team and wished them luck for the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022. India will take on Iran in the tournament opener at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on 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.
The AIFF President, also a FIFA Council member, announced a bonus to the players if the Blue Tigresses qualify for the quarterfinals. "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," said Patel.
India have been drawn against IR Iran (January 20), 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.
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," said Dennerby.
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." (ANI)