The matches will not be live telecast or streamed in the country.

Over five months since their last match, the Indian football team will be in action on Wednesday (March 23) when they play Bahrain in an international friendly. India’s match against the West Asians will be the first of two friendlies the Blue Tigers play this month — the second coming against Belarus three days later. Unfortunately, neither of the games will be live telecast or streamed in India “owing to the lack of support” from the Bahrain FA and the “technical feasibility” required to broadcast the matches in the country, according to the AIFF.

In a statement on Tuesday, the AIFF confirmed that India’s upcoming friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus will not be telecast or streamed in the country. “Despite our best efforts in working with the Bahrain FA to live telecast and stream the International Friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus, owing to lack of support & subsequent technical feasibility, it won’t be possible to telecast the matches in India,” said the All India Football Federation. “The broadcast production of the two matches lie with the host Federation.”

AIFF’s letter to Bahrain FA

Khel Now can confirm that the AIFF had written to the Bahrain FA requesting them to assist and cooperate to enable the broadcast of both friendlies in India. The contents of the letter have now been accessed by Khel Now.

In the letter addressed to the Bahrain FA General Secretary, Rashed Abdulla Alzaabi, the AIFF mentions the inability of Bahrain TV to process the live feed and make it available to the AIFF for telecasting/streaming the matches in India.

“Bahrain TV is neither being able to provide English graphics and English commentary, nor being able to uplink the live feed on any of the satellites available over India or send the signal via an RTMP link to the AIFF,” says AIFF in the letter.

It also highlights how an agreement between the AIFF, Bahrain FA and Bahrain TV to produce and broadcast the matches in India wasn’t honoured. The “tripartite agreement” was signed way back in December 2021.

“It comes as a massive disappointment….that fans of football will miss the joys of watching their nation play an international match,” the AIFF concludes in the letter.

India, meanwhile, will be in action after approximately 157 days. The last time they were in action, the Blue Tigers clinched a record eighth SAFF Championship title in Nepal. With some regular names missing, head coach Igor Stimac has named a young 25-member squad for the friendlies. As many as seven new faces have earned their calling to the senior team after impressing in the recently-concluded ISL.

Among them are Ruivah Hormipam, Naorem Roshan Singh, VP Suhair and Anwar Ali. Stimac, however mentioned in the pre-match press conference that he is unlikely to use players that played in the ISL final three days ago. Seven more players, picked in the final squad, are also out of the Bahrain match after reaching the country earlier this morning following visa issues.

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