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AIFF cancelled scheduled India vs China friendly ahead of AFC Asian Cup due to clash with ISL

AIFF cancelled scheduled India vs China friendly ahead of AFC Asian Cup due to clash with ISL

The lack of preparation for Igor Stimac's team has been a talking point in the build up to India's successive AFC Asian Cup campaign and it will only deepen with this development.

The India football team is now in Doha preparing for their AFC Asian Cup campaign. Astonishingly, Sunil Chhetri and co. have not played a single practice match before or after their trip to Doha. They will directly take the field in the tournament. Now it has emerged that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) cancelled a scheduled friendly against China before the AFC Asian Cup. The reason cited by AIFF was apparently ‘clash with India’s domestic league fixtures’.

The lack of preparation for Igor Stimac’s team has been a talking point in the build up to India’s successive AFC Asian Cup campaign. India are training for 13 days in Doha ahead of the tournament. The visitors were the first to arrive in Doha on December 30 and started practice a day later. However, no practice matches were scheduled by the AIFF ahead of this important tournament.

No friendly for Igor Stimac’s India

Now, Titan Sports, a leading sports newspaper in China, reported that China and India were scheduled to play a friendly ahead of the tournament. The outlet further reported that AIFF cancelled the friendly later fearing the disruption of India’s domestic schedule.

OTD in 2019: Sunil Chhetri brace guides Indian Football Team to stellar 4-1 win against Thailand in AFC Asian Cup

India will play their opening Group B match against Australia on January 13 at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. They will then face Uzbekistan on January 18 at the same venue. Stimac’s men will then move to the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to take on Syria on January 23. Before playing so many tough opponents, it would have been a great thing for India to get some competitive minutes under their belt, but AIFF surprisingly decided against it.

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