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Hemant misses inaugural of AFC Women’s Asia cup, but says committed to make Jharkhand football nursery

Ranchi: Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Thursday India women’s senior football team ahead of their inaugural match against Iran during the AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 which kicked off at DY Patil stadium in Maharashtra. Soren also felt sorry for not being physically able to attend the event as the chief guest. The tournament will be played till Feb 6 in which 12 countries are taking part.

The All India Football Federation had on January 11 invited Soren as the chief guest for the tournament’s inaugural match. The AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 is one of the biggest international football tournaments and that India is hosting it for the second time since its inception. Seventeen year old Sumati Kumar from Jharkhand’s Gumla district is also part of the India colours.

In a letter to AIFF president Praful Patel, Soren wrote: “First of all, I would like to, extend my warm greetings and thanks to the entire AIFF family for inviting me as the Chief Guest to attend the AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022. The AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022 is one of the biggest international football tournaments in recent times and to host such a big championship for the second time since its inception is a result of your efforts and vision for the development of football in the country.”

He added, “When it comes to Jharkhand, sports is a way of life and particularly football. I feel proud to lead a state that has produced some of the finest football players for the country and continues to do so. We as a state feel proud to be an important part of strengthening the football ecosystem in India.”

He maintained that Jharkhand was delighted to host the current Indian Women’s senior football team in the state for the preparation between August – October 2021. “We are currently hosting the U-17 national women’s team in Jharkhand as they prepare for the upcoming U-17 FIFA women’s world cup, a once in a lifetime opportunity. We hope both our women’s teams will perform their best in these global championships being held in the country,” he said.

“Amidst all this positivity and enthusiasm, due to the ongoing C0VID-19 situation in Jharkhand, I will be unable to be physically present and support our feisty players. I convey my warmest greetings to all the teams and the players taking part in this tournament and I wish my very best to the entire AIFF team for the successful execution of the Asian Football championship 2022,” he wrote, adding that the state is committed to make Jhakrhand a nursery for football players and assured AIFF of all the necessary support for the development of football especially womens’ football in India.