Initially, South Africa was announced to participate in the tournament but Kenya later replaced them when South Africa expressed its inability to participate. The other two nations participated in the tournament were Chinese Taipei from AFC region and New Zealand from the OFC region.
After a poor attendance of 2,569 for the first match of the tournament, Indian captain Sunil Chhetri uploaded a video on his Twitter and Instagram accounts pleading for Indians to attend Indian football matches. Chhetri's plea was endorsed by other sports people, including Indian cricket captainVirat Kohli, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, and tennis player Sania Mirza. People responded to the plea by booking tickets for India's upcoming game against Kenya, and the game was sold out before the match day. The match was Chhetri's 100th cap for India in which he scored a brace, leading India to win 3–0.