Team India to participate in the King's Cup after four decades

With the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers around the corner, the blue tigers have the perfect opportunity to get in shape. India's last King's Cup stint was back in 1977.

Indian football team

India will look to use the King's Cup to get some valuable practice ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers in September this year. (File photo)   -  PRASHANT NAKWE

The Indian National Team will be playing in the invitational King’s Cup in Thailand in June.

The FIFA-sanctioned international 'A' tournament, that has been held since 1968, will also see the national teams of Vietnam, Curacao and hosts Thailand participating.

As of April 2019, India is ranked 101, Thailand stands at 114, Vietnam stands at 98 and Curacao is at 82 in the FIFA Rankings.

The Chang Arena in Buriram, with a seating capacity of 36000, will host all the matches.

This is the first time in 18 years that the Blue Tigers will be playing in a FIFA Ranking tournament, the last being the Merdeka Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

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“The new National Coach will be on board by mid-week of May," Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced.

He called the tournament the perfect platform for the new coach to "understand the nucleus of the team."

With the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers scheduled to kick-off in September, the King’s Cup will help the team get in proper shape for the tough challenges ahead,” he stated.

“I am extremely thankful to the Thailand FA for sending us an invitation to play in the tournament," he added.

Two matches will be held on June 5, the winners of whom qualify for the final. The two others teams would be playing the play-off for the 3rd spot.

The last time India participated in the King's Cup was back in 1977. South Korea went on to win that edition of the tournament.

The 2018 edition of the King’s Cup was won by Slovakia when they beat Thailand 3-2 in a thriller in the final, while Gabon beat UAE 1-0 to clinch the 3rd place.

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