Nehru Cup football: India to take on Palestine in opener


India, who beat Syria 1-0 in the 2007 final, have been placed in Group A along with Lebanon and Palestine, who replaced Thailand after the South East Asian country refused to send their national 'A' team.
Syria, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka made up the Group B. The group matches will be played in a round-robin format and the top two teams will qualify for the semifinals to be played on August 27 and 28.
The final will be played on August 31 while the third place play-off will be played on August 30.
The winners of the tournament, to be sponsored by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, will earn USD 40,000 while the runners-up and third-place finishers will be richer by USD 20,000 and 10,000 respectively.
The winning team of the each of the 10 matches, including both group and knock-out matches, will get USD 500 while the man-of-the-match will get USD 300 to make the total prize money of the tournament to USD 1,00,000.
Syria is the highest-ranked team at 95th followed by Lebanon at 148th while India and Sri Lanka are both at 156th. Palestine are the lowest rank at 160th.
All the matches will be played under floodlights with the start time at 1830 hrs. Zee Sports will telecast all the matches live.

The tournament, which was put off by a day from its earlier scheduled August 18 start, also got a jolt after 117th-ranked Thailand was replaced by Palestine.
AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco told a press conference that the federation decided to "scrap" Thailand's participation after the South East Asian country refused to confirm the participation of their national 'A' team.
"Thailand first confirmed their participation but from the players' list they sent we came to know it was their U-19 team. We sent a letter that AIFF can't accept their team as Nehru Cup is a tournament among national 'A' teams. Thailand did not reply so we invited Palestine," he said.
Colaco said the Indian team will return home tomorrow after training at Dubai for 10 days and for a month at FC Barcelona facilities.
"The team is reaching here tomorrow. The players will disperse and will have a camp at Gurgaon from August 12 till the start of the tournament."
AIFF acting president Praful Patel said he was looking forward to a successful tournament.
"Nehru Cup is India's most prestigious tournament. It not only gives our team to play at the international level and show our talent that we are in a good position to compete at the international level. The AIFF will do everything to ensure it a success," he said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry