New Delhi [India]: Indian men’s team is set to play in the invitational King’s Cup in Thailand this June.
The King’s Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned international ‘A’ tournament being organised by the Football Association of Thailand since 1968.
All the fixtures will take place at the Chang Arena, Buriram.
Apart from India and the host Thailand, other teams namely Vietnam and Curacao will compete. According to the April 2019 FIFA rankings, India are ranked at 101, Thailand at 114, Vietnam at 98 and Curacao at 82.
India’s previous participation in the tournament was in 1977.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said that the King’s Cup is the perfect platform for the new coach, which is yet to be appointed, to “understand the nucleus of the team.”
“The new national coach will be on board by mid-week of May. 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 said.
This will be the first time in 18 years that India will be playing in a FIFA ranking tournament. The national team last played at the Merdeka tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.
Slovakia had won the 2018 edition of the King’s Cup when they beat Thailand 3-2 in a thriller final, while Gabon beat UAE 1-0 to settle at the third place.