While the rest of the country prepares to celebrate the festival of lights, the Indian women’s team arrived in the Burmese capital of Yangon late on Tuesday, November 6 evening as they get set to compete for a place in the second round of the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“Being away from home and one’s family on festivals can be a little difficult for the players, especially the younger ones,” said coach Maymol Rocky, before adding, with a smile, “However, our team is also one big family and we hope to have a small celebration in the team hotel on Diwali.”
She said, “Diwali is the festival of lights and keeping that in mind, I hope the girls can light up Myanmar with their football and reach the next round of the Olympic Qualifiers.”
Playing away from home is always a daunting task but the weather conditions in Yangon will come to the aid of the Indian team, according to the coach. The side will play its first two games at 3pm local time (2pm IST), at a time when temperatures will be around a crisp 34° Celsius.
“The conditions in Myanmar are favourable for us. The girls are used to playing in such weather and the training camp that we had in Mumbai had us play in the same conditions as well,” said Rocky.
Team India will take on Nepal in their opening clash on Thursday (November 8), which will be followed by matches against Bangladesh (November 11) and hosts Myanmar (November 13).