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Friendlies will show where we stand, says Thomas Dennerby

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Jamshedpur, September 24

The Indian women’s football team will play multiple international friendlies, starting next week in the UAE, as part of its preparation for the 2022 AFC Asian Cup at home.

According to the itinerary unveiled by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the women’s team, which has been training in Jamshedpur for around a month, will play friendlies against the UAE and Tunisia. The team will leave for the UAE on September 30. The team will then travel to Bahrain to play friendlies against Bahrain and Chinese Taipei.

That is likely to be followed by a brief stint in Sweden, where they are set to face two Damallsvenskan league teams, subject to permission to Indian citizens arriving in Sweden from relevant authorities.

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Head coach Thomas Dennerby said the quarantine rules in different countries in wake of Covid-19 has left India with very few options.

“Unfortunately, the current pandemic situation is tough and the reality is that there are different quarantine restrictions in different countries which kills many options for the Indian teams,” he said.

Dennerby has already spoken about the importance of playing quality matches to get the girls match fit ahead of the big tournament, and he believes that the friendlies in UAE and Bahrain will help the team assess itself.

“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,” the coach said. — PTI

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