Could not play friendly with Iran due to fixture clash– Stephen Constantine
Written by: Rohan Philip
The national team also launched their new kit ahead of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup.
India will play in the AFC Asian Cup in UAE in 2019 after missing out on qualification in the 2015 edition of the competition. India will play their opening game on the tournament on the sixth of January against Thailand.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Constantine’s men are set to fly out to Abu Dhabi for an intense training camp lasting two weeks.
Stephen Constantine addressed the issue regarding the lack of practice matches in a press conference during the side’s kit launch in New Delhi. He mentioned that he was forced to turn down an offer for a friendly from Carlos Queiroz, the manager of the Iranian national side.
“I had a call from Iran coach Carlos Queiroz asking me if we were interested in playing them on December 30 but we already had scheduled on December 27 and December 30. And hence, couldn’t. But we still played strong teams like Jordan and will play the likes of Oman in the build-up to the tournament,” said the India coach. India are also expected to play Syria in another friendly before the tournament.
He also stated, “We will have two weeks in Abu Dhabi to acclimatize to the conditions. As far as preparations are concerned, we are okay. But we could have had a few more matches. We tried contacting a lot of teams and wanted to play nations who are playing in the Asian Cup."
The Englishman also said that the qualification to the AFC Asian Cup was a fantastic achievement for everyone associated with the national side.
Published: Wed Dec 19, 2018 08:49 PM IST