intercontinental cup

All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das addresses a press conference in New Delhi on July 2, 2018. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — The All India Football Federation May 13 confirmed participation of Syria, North Korea and Tajikistan in the second edition of the Intercontinental Cup, starting on July 7. The venue for the tournament is yet to be decided.

The Blue Tigers come into the competition as defending champions, having won the inaugural edition in June 2018 by defeating Kenya in the final, courtesy a brace from Sunil Chhetri, the Hero of the Tournament. New Zealand and Chinese Taipei were the other two teams in the fray.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said the forthcoming tourney would be an "acid test" for the Blue Tigers ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which begins in September 2019.

"The AIFF and its partner FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited) have finalized an annual calendar for the men's national team. In June, the national team is scheduled to participate in the King's Cup in Thailand, where we play Curaçao in our first match, and then either Vietnam or Thailand. These matches will hold us in good stead for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers," he said.

All the four teams will be playing each other in a round robin phase, with the top two teams qualifying for the final.

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