The Indian National football team arrived in Doha a few days ago to play the rest of their WC qualifiers. India will face Qatar, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. India were likely to play the Philippines as a preparation game ahead of WC and Asian Cup qualifiers but that fixture has now been officially canceled.
Igor Stimac has already announced his squad for the campaign. Meanwhile, key players like Sunila Chhetri and Abdul Samad have also made their comebacks. Sadly Brandon Fernandes will miss out due to COVID. But now, it is being said that the Indian team will face the Philippines in an unofficial match.
But now several sources can confirm that the friendly between India and the Philippines has been canceled. Ahead of their 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup. However, India will still play the matches against Qatar, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Reason for the Cancelation
The practice match which was supposed to be played between India and the Philippines required a clearance from the Health Ministry of Qatar. The team has, however, sent their letter to the authority but have failed to get the green light. So, the fixture unfortunately got canceled.
What are India’s rivals up to
On the other hand, Felix Sanches’s side Qatar are not playing any friendlies. Qatar started training on May 18 in Doha, before that they have played three friendlies against Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, and Ireland in which they have drawn once and won twice.
Bangladesh were about to play a friendly also but failed to do so because their trip to Saudi Arabia got canceled. Bangladesh football federation is yet to receive the quarantine exemption letter from Saudi Authorities.
Afghanistan are currently in Dubai where they will play two practice matches. one against Indonesia and the other against Singapore.
How India’s journey have been so far
India have lost their first match against Oman by 2-1, then they made history by drawing against the Asian giants Qatar in a goalless draw. In their third match against Bangladesh, the Blue Tigers managed to draw by 1-1 and India again suffered a draw in the fourth match against Afghanistan by 1-1. Then they suffered a loss against Oman by 1-0 away from home.
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