India hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a huge opportunity for women's football: Footballer Renu to WION

Written By: Srishti Singh Sisodia WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Oct 22, 2021, 10:13 PM(IST)

Indian footballer Renu. (Image credit: AIFF) Photograph:( Others )

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Footballer Renu spoke exclusively to WION and opened up about India's preparation for the tournament and also shared some cherished memories of her journey

Football fever will grip India as AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 is set to commence on January 20 next year. Indian women's team will look to draw inspiration from their current outstanding form and win the title. The qualified teams include reigning champions Japan, Australia, China PR, hosts India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Korea Republic, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Ahead of the tournament, footballer Renu spoke exclusively to WION and opened up about India's preparation for the tournament and also shared some cherished memories of her journey. 

Renu, who is a versatile forward, made her senior debut for India in April 2021 as a substitution in a 1–2 friendly loss to Belarus. The star player from India's northern state Haryana, shot to fame when she came off the bench to score five goals against Pakistan in the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers in 2018. Read Renu's interview here:

WION: Tell us something about India's preparations for the AFC Women's Asian Cup. Are you excited?

Renu: We have been working hard at our camp Jamshedpur under the new coach Thomas Dennerby. It’s been two months since the camp has started and we have received a great amount of support from all to ensure we are focused and prepared for the big tournament ahead. The Jharkhand government has been especially supportive, hosting our camp and providing us with all the facilities we need to train well. The Sports Minister also came to meet us and gave us motivation ahead of the Asian Cup. 

WION: As India will be hosting the AFC Women's Asian Cup... how will that help women’s football?

Renu: India hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a huge opportunity for women’s football in the country. Not only has it given us players a boost of motivation and determination, but I am sure it will inspire many more budding women footballers. It will also bring women’s football to the forefront and make people more aware of our game. 

WION: Can you share something about your journey?

Renu: I started playing football in 2016. I broke into the Indian national side in 2018 when I was selected for the U-16 side. I came to the senior team in 2019. It’s great to play with seniors now. It gives me great experience and the senior players always teach us how to rectify our mistakes. 

When I was little my big brother used to play football. I used to watch him go to practice. I was curious about the game, so I went with him a couple of times. Then, I saw that even girls were playing football. I started playing with them and that’s how my journey started.

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