AIFF president announces bonus if India makes Asian Cup quarters

India takes on Iran in the AFC Asian Cup opener at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

The Indian team will be led by 28-year-old centre-back Ashalata Devi.   -  AIFF Media

All India Football Federation president Praful Patel has announced bonus for the Indian women's national team if it manages to reach the AFC Asian Cup 2022 quarterfinals. India takes 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.

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“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.

India has 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.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, and deputy general secretary Abhishek Yadav were also present on the occasion.

“Iran are a good team, but you all have beaten them in the past, and all of you should take confidence in that. I’m sure you will give your 100 per cent tomorrow. We have tried to provide to you the best of exposure and training facilities for the Women’s Asian Cup,” Patel expressed.

Blue Tigresses gead 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.”

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