Uddhav Thackeray virtually inaugurates pitches

AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday
virtually inaugurated two training pitches at the upcoming ‘Football Maharashtra Centre for Excellence’ at Kharghar here.

The two pitches will be used by the teams, who will be competing in the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup beginning January 20.

“I am very happy that we have created these grounds (pitches) and the dream of a lot of youngsters to become footballers will be fulfilled. I am giving my best wishes for the AFC Asian Cup and in that also I feel that our team (India) will do a good job,” said Thackeray.

AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray virtually inaugurates training pitches ahead of AFC Asian Cup

Also read: AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: Primary target is to reach the quarterfinals, says India’s head coach Thomas Dennerby

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel, who virtually attended the event, informed that the country would also be hosting the U17 FIFA World Cup for Women in October later this year.

“I am very happy that the first world class facility and FIFA approved stadium will be coming up in Navi Mumbai. We had hosted the U17 World Cup for men in 2017 and Navi Mumbai was one of the sites for hosting this tournament.

“The same way this year also we are having two important programmes – one starting 20th January, we are going to host the Asian Women’ Cup, which is the premier tournament of women in Asia,” said Patel.

“At the same time in 2022 itself .. the World Cup for Women U17 will be held in October (20)22 and Navi Mumbai is the chosen place for hosting the finals,” he said.

Patel said the U-17 women’s World Cup is “going to be held outside of Maharashtra.”

“But the semi-finals and finals and group matches are going to be held in Navi Mumbai. So I am very happy that we are getting fullest support from the Government of Maharashtra,” he added.

Talking about the two pitches, CIDCO Managing Director Dr Sanjay Mukherjee said, “These pitches are international standards and they are certified by FIFA. And they are the first pitches in this part of the country, which are FIFA certified.

“So, two pitches are made available to AFC and the Asian Women’s football teams are going to practise in these pitches.

“This project is in three phases and in the first phase we are developing four pitches and out of these four pitches, three pitches will be having natural turf and one pitch will be having Astro-turf,” added Mukherjee.

Maharashtra ministers Eknath Shinde, Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the president of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), AIFC founder-director Dinesh Nair along with senior officials of Western India Football Association (WIFA) and CIDCO attended the event.

AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray virtually inaugurates training pitches ahead of AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup, which will see participation of 12 teams, will take place in three cities of Maharashtra – Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune, from January 20.

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