Maldives has confirmed participation in the Nehru Cup football tournament which will be held in India according to Football Association of Maldives (FAM).
Mohamed Hamdhoon, Haveeru Online
Jul 09, 2012 - 07:09
Maldives is the only south Asian country which has been invited to India’s most prestigious tournament , which will be held from August 23 to September 2 in New Delhi.
FAM President Ali Azim today said that India’s invitation to Maldives displays the recognition of Maldives as a prominent force in South Asian football. He also highlighted that the invitation was a symbol of cordial relations between the respective Football associations.
Azim said though the invitation had been accepted an official letter wil be sent to All India Football Federation (AIFF) after today’s Executive Committee Meeting.
An FAM official said that the Dhiraagu Dhivehi league schedule will be revised to afford the National team time to prepare for the tournament. Maldives, coached by Hungary’s Istvan Urbanyi has never participated in this tournament before.
Along with India and Maldives, Bahrain and Philippines will take part in this tournament. According to media reports AIFF invited Syria, Jordan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Thailand, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Zambia as well.
India’s National coach Wim Koevermans has named 37 players for the preparatory camp for the Nehru Cup which will kick off on July 27.
Nehru Cup is an international invitational tournament instigated in 1982, but was not held from 1998 to 2006. After the trophy was won by Iraq in 1997, it was reinstated only in 2007. India won the last two editions in 2007 and 2009.
Soviet Union, Hungary, Iraq, Uruguay, Poland, Romania and North Korea are among the past winners of the tournament.