India will be participating in the Merdeka Cup later this year, as confirmed by the Secretary General of the AIFF.
The tournament was established in 1957, and has been dubbed a mini-Asia Cup. Countries across Asia sent their full senior teams to compete, which added further to the prestige of the competition. The Merdeka Cup was held annually between 1957 and 1988. After that point, it’s popularity declined before it was dissolved in 2013. And after a decade away, it is finally set to restart later this year.
India to participate in the 2023 Merdeka Cup later this year
“When we were in Malaysia a few months back, it was finalised that India will be part of the Merdeka Cup whenever it happens. Suddenly some fake news resulted in confusion. So, they (Malaysian FA) iterated recently that India will be there,” Shaji Prabhakaran told Sportstar
“Merdeka has an emotional connection with India. Whenever we participated in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, it took the flag higher. And so, when Merdeka starts again, we would like to be there and give more competitive exposure to our players. And that way our team can also grow,” the Secretary General added.
The details of the tournament have not been announced as of yet, and it is expected to be held in September.