India to play Syria, DPR Korea and Tajikistan in 2019 Intercontinental Cup

The Indian football team won the first edition of the Intercontinental Cup and will look to defend its title in July this year.

India last played in the AFC Asian Cup in January.   -  AIFF MEDIA

All India Football Federation confirmed the participation of Syria, DPR Korea, and Tajikistan for the second edition of the Hero Intercontinental Cup from July 7-17.

The Blue Tigers come into the competition as the defending champion, having won the inaugural edition in June last year after defeating Kenya in the final, courtesy a brace from the tournament top-scorer, Sunil Chhetri. New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei were the other two teams in the fray.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das mentioned that the forthcoming Intercontinental Cup will be an “acid test” for the Blue Tigers ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers which kick-offs in September this year.

"The AIFF and their partners FSDL have finalised an annual calendar for the men's national team. In June, the national team is scheduled to participate in the King's Cup in Thailand where we play Curaçao in our first match, and then either Vietnam or Thailand. These matches will hold us in good stead for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers starting in September,” he stated.

“I need to thank the respective Football Federations of Syria, Tajikistan, and DPR Korea for agreeing to come over for the four-nation event,” Das added.

All the four teams will be playing each other in a round robin phase, with the top two teams qualifying for the final.

The venue for the tournament will be decided shortly.

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