India to play four-nation King’s Cup in Thailand
The Indian national football team will take part in the upcoming King's Cup invitational tournament to be played at the Chang Arena, Buriram, in Thailand from June 5. Apart from India and hosts Thailand, Vietnam and Curacao will be the other two participating teams.
The first two matches will be played on June 5th, with the winners facing off in the final for the prize. The remaining two teams will vie for a third-placed finish. India's last appearance in the tournament was back in 1977.
The King's Cup is a prestigious FIFA-sanctioned international ‘A’ tournament which has been organised by the Football Association of Thailand since 1968. It will also be the first time since the Merdeka Tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 that the Blue Tigers will be participating in a FIFA Ranking tournament. As per the current FIFA Rankings, India are ranked 101st, Thailand 114th, Vietnam 98th and Curacao 82nd.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is yet to name a new national team head coach after Stephen Constantine stepped down back in January. AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das opined that the King's Cup will be the perfect platform for the new coach 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. I am extremely thankful to the Thailand FA for sending us an invitation to play in the tournament," he said.