Indian Football: Ahmedabad’s TransStadia Arena to host Intercontinental Cup matches
The second edition of the Hero Intercontinental Cup will be held in the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad, the All Indian Football Federation said in a press release on Saturday. The tournament will be held from July 7-18.
The AIFF has already confirmed the name of the participating nations. Besides hosts India, 74th-ranked Syria, 120th-ranked Tajikistan and 128th-ranked DPR Korea will participate in the four-nation invitational tournament.
The structure of the tournament will remain the same as in the previous edition, featuring a round-robin format with the top two teams qualifying for the final. Last season, the tournament was played in Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai. Hosts India won the competition, beating Kenya 2-0 in the final courtesy a brace from Sunil Chhetri.
The TransStadia Arena was constructed under a public-private partnership by the Government of Gujarat and SE TransStadia to help develop sports in the country. It was officially opened on October 7, 2016.
The TransStadia is considered to be Asia’s biggest and India’s first convertible stadium which can host more than a dozen sports. Apart from a 4000-capacity indoor stadium, it has a full-fledged state-of-the-art football stadium, which has a seating capacity of 20000.
Moreover, the stadium also has state-of-the-art media facilities for live broadcasting and international player facilities with four locker rooms. It has a FIFA standard football pitch with an elevation of 4.8 metres. It also has 14 hospitality boxes overlooking the pitch which can be converted into guest rooms.
The indoor area has already hosted matches of the Pro Kabaddi League and is the home stadium of Gujarat Fortunegiants. Recently, Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC played two matches of their AFC Cup campaign at this venue, winning one and losing another.
The Intercontinental Cup will be the second important assignment of new Indian football team coach Igor Stimac. Prior to the Intercontinental Cup, India will participate in the Kings Cup in Thailand, scheduled to be held next month.
Considering their recent form, Syria look the strongest country among the lot, but bowed out in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup, losing to Jordan and Australia. DPR Korea have the experience of playing two World Cups but recently lost all their Asian Cup matches by big margins.
Tajikistan have also lost their last three matches and are scheduled to play China in the June window.