Indian women’s football team to play friendlies vs UAE, Tunisia, Bahrain, Chinese Taipei

All four matches will be played next month in the Middle East and will serve as India's preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by All India Football Federation

The Indian football women’s team will resume its preparations for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 with a series of friendly matches in the Middle East next month. 

The Indian team will face the UAE and Tunisia in the UAE before heading to Bahrain to take on the host nation and the Chinese Taipei in two more matches. The team will fly out on September 30.

Subject to approval, the Indian team could have a brief stint in Sweden where it will take on two teams from the Damallsvenskan League, Sweden’s top-tier women’s football league.

“The matches in UAE and Bahrain will allow us to judge ourselves where we stand against some good competitive opponents. Teams need to build up their defence, and also the build-up process, and all of that is judged in an international match,” Indian women’s football team coach Thomas Dennerby said.

The Indian women’s football team is ranked 57th in the world. Only Chinese Taipei (40th) are ranked higher while Tunisia (77th), Bahrain (85th) and UAE (100th) are ranked lower than India.

The Indian football women’s team last played two friendly matches against Uzbekistan in April. Since then, Maymol Rocky stepped down from the role of head coach due to personal reasons. Thomas Dennerby, who is also in charge of the Indian Under-17 women’s side, took over the reins.

The Indian team has been camping in Jamshedpur for the past month. 

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 will be played from January 20 to February 6 with Mumbai and Pune hosting the 12 best teams from the continent.