Bala Devi
Bala Devi displaying the No 10 jersey that she wears for the Scottish team. Courtesy: The Hindu

Honour For India To Host AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022: Bala Devi

July 3, 2020

"India hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2022 has motivated me to remain at the peak of my fitness," said Indian women's football team forward Bala Devi.

She was interacting with the media team of All India Football Federation (AIFF) in Glasgow, Scotland, where she is preparing hard for the resumption of the Scottish Premier League.

The league has been put on a hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bala Devi is the first Indian female football player to have been signed by a foreign team.

"There really isn't a lot to do as of now, apart from training and keep yourself at the peak of fitness," Bala Devi was quoted as saying by

"I was really excited when I saw India were announced as the hosts. It really is an honour to host such a prestigious tournament," she said.

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"It means so much for women's football in India. The announcement has given us all that extra motivation," she further added.

With COVID-19 pandemic playing spoilsport, it has been very difficult for the players to keep their fitness level up and focus going on.

The Indian striker has been varying her timetable as per the situation and she has kept herself busy working on indoor exercises and yoga.

She has also gone for jogging at nearby parks by adhering strictly to the social distancing norms.

The star from Manipur further informed that the COVID-19 situation has forced them to focus on their individual fitness levels and players are doing their best.

"When the team does report together we will see what the plans are. I will train and play for my club Rangers FC once things open up after the lockdown and hope to be at peak fitness," she added.

It may be mentioned here that India over the years has hosted several international football tournaments, including AFC U-16 Championship in 2016, FIFA U-and 17 World Cup in 2017.

The nation is all set to host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2021 as well.

Speaking on this, Bala says, "A lot has indeed been mobilised on the football front in the country."

"As a footballer, you really can't ask for much bigger platforms than to play a World Cup and an Asian Cup in your own backyard," the ace footballer quips in.

Bala Devi further feels that the Women's Asian Cup will be the biggest tournament the senior women's football team will play at home.

"I hope that the entire country comes out to support us," she further said.

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