The Indian national football team is set to have a busy 2023 with plenty of tournaments in the pipeline over the course of the year.

The Blue Tigers were most recently in action at a Tri-Nation tournament in March. They put on impressive displays in the tournament after getting the better of the Kyrgyz Republic by a 2-0 scoreline in the final.

The Blue Tigers had also beaten Myanmar 1-0 earlier in the competition and are currently preparing for the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2023 for which they are undergoing preparations in a camp at Bhubaneswar.

However, the Intercontinental Cup isn’t the only tournament that the Blue Tigers will be competing in this year.

As of now, India is braced to feature in as many as five tournaments over the course of the year in what will act as the perfect build-up to the upcoming Asia Cup next year. Here’s a closer look at the tournaments that India is set to compete in during the remainder of the year.

Indian football schedule 2023

Tournament Dates Opposition Teams
Intercontinenal Cup 2023 June 9 to 18 Lebanon, Mongolia, and Vanuatu
SAFF Championship 2023 June 21 to July 4 Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Kuwait, and Lebanon
King's Cup 2023 September 7 to 10 Thailand, UAE, and Lebanon
Asian Games 2022 September 23 to October 8 TBD
Merdeka Cup 2023 October 14 to 17 Malaysia, Palestine, and Lebanon

Intercontinental Cup 2023

The Intercontinental Cup 2023 will be India’s first competitive tournament after the Tri-Nation Tournament that was held in Imphal, Manipur in March. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched the Intercontinental Cup in 2018 and there have been two editions of the tournament ever since. India won the first edition, while North Korea won the second in 2019. After a four-year gap due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Intercontinental Cup is set to return in 2023. The tournament will take place from June 9 to 18 and will feature hosts India, Lebanon, Mongolia, and Vanuatu.

SAFF Championship 2023

The Intercontinental Cup will act as perfect preparations for the SAFF Championship 2023. The upcoming edition of the tournament will be the 14th edition and will take place at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. It will get underway on June 21 and will conclude on July 4. Along with hosts India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Kuwait, and Lebanon are also participating in the tournament.

King’s Cup 2023

Hosted by the Football Association of Thailand ever since 1968, India has two King’s Cup triumphs under their belts and will be eager to add a third when they play in the tournament during the September international window from September 7 to 10. Apart from India, Thailand, UAE, and Lebanon are believed to be the other nations participating in the tournament.

Asian Games 2022

The postponed 2022 Asian Games are scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8 of this year. While the full senior side won’t be able to participate in the tournament as only under-23 players are allowed to play in it from 2022, plenty of up-and-coming Indian players can make their mark in the tournament alongside a maximum of three talents from the senior squad. Two-time Asian Games winner India will be eager to give their youngsters some playing time when this competition begins.

Merdeka Cup 2023

Organised by the Football Association of Malaysia, the 42nd edition of the Merdeka Cup will be held from October 14 to 17. Apart from India and host nation Malaysia, the likes of Palestine and Lebanon are also set to feature in the tournament.

Furthermore, besides the tournaments mentioned above, the Blue Tigers are also set to feature in the preliminary qualifying Round 2 of the Asia qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It will be some of the last bits of preparation for the senior national team ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be held in Qatar from January 12 to February 10 and India is placed in Group B in the tournament alongside Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria.

Photo credit: Alamy