AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: Hosts India name 23-member squad, recovering Bala Devi misses out
While the All India Football Federation has not named a captain yet, the experienced Ashalata Devi is likely to lead the side in the continental tournament starting 20 January.
New Delhi: Host nation India on Tuesday named its 23-member squad for the upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup, including four youngsters from the team that finished runners-up in the U-19 SAFF Championships in Dhaka last month.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 11, 2022
While the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has not named a captain yet, the experienced Ashalata Devi is likely to lead the side in the continental tournament, which will be held in three venues across Maharasthra from 20 January to 6 February.
There are no surprises in the team announced on Tuesday as 27 players had been camping in Kochi since last month, out of which 23 had been picked.
The four players who had participated in the SAFF meet and are also part of this squad are Hemam Shilky Devi (defender), Mariyammal Balamurugan (forward), Sumati Kumari (forward) and Naorem Priyangka Devi (defender).
India will, however, miss the services of seasoned striker Bala Devi, who continues to recover from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery performed last September. It can take a minimum of six months to fully recovery after the operation.
India is hosting the continent's highest competition for the first time since 1980 and at stake is a possible berth in the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
For automatic qualification to the quadrennial showpiece in Australia and New Zealand, India, ranked 55th in the world, must be among the top five teams.
The tournament organisers have released the squads of all the 12 participating nations. Monday was the last date of registration.
The final list of 23 registered players as follows:
GOALKEPEERS: Aditi Chauhan (1), Maibam Linthoingambi Devi (23), Sowmiya Narayanasamy (19).
DEFENDERS: Dalima Chhibber (17), Sweety Devi Ngangbam (2), Ritu Rani (21), Loitongbam Ashalata Devi (4), Manisa Panna (3), Hemam Shilky Devi (5), Sanju Yadav (8).
MIDFIELDERS: Yumnam Kamala Devi (6), Anju Tamang (9), Karthika Angamuthu (20), Nongmeithem Ratanbala Devi (7), Naorem Priyangka Devi (14), Indumathi Kathiresan (12).
FORWARDS: Manisha Kalyan (16), Grace Dangmei (11), Pyari Xaxa (10), Renu (15), Sumati Kumari (22), Sandhiya Ranganathan (13), Mariyammal Balamurugan (18).
HEAD COACH: Thomas Dennerby.
Karim Benzema has now scored 323 goals for Real Madrid and is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane scored two goals as Spurs defeated Arsenal in the Premier League.
Zenit St Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, Sochi and CSKA Moscow would have all qualified for the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League, but have been banned due to Russia's war on Ukraine.