India will not be playing a friendly against Philippines ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifiers…
The India national team will not be playing a practice match against the Philippines ahead of their 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers, Goal can now confirm.
Igor Stimac’s men, who are currently in Doha, are set to play their remaining World Cup 2022 qualifying games next month – against hosts Qatar on June 3, followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan on June 7 and 15 respectively.
The practice game against the Philippines required a clearance from the Health Ministry. The team had sent a letter to the concerned authority but could not get the required green light for the fixture to go ahead.
The last time India was in action was in the 1-1 draw and a 0-6 defeat against Oman and UAE respectively, on March 23 and 29 respectively, in Dubai.
How are India’s rivals preparing?
Qatar are not playing any practice match ahead of their qualifying games. Felix Sanches’ side started training on May 18 in Doha. Before that Qatar had played three friendlies, where they won over Luxembourg and Azerbaijan and drew against Ireland.
Afghanistan are currently in Dubai where they will play two practice matches against Indonesia and Singapore on May 25 and May 29 respectively.
Bangladesh were supposed to get some competitive minutes under their belt but their trip to Saudi Arabia has been postponed in the eleventh hour as Bangladesh Football Federation is yet to receive the quarantine exemption letter from Saudi authorities.
India’s journey so far in the Qualifiers
India started their journey with a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oman at home followed by a historic goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha. In their third and fourth matches, the Blue Tigers managed 1-1 draws against Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then suffered a 1-0 defeat against Oman away from home.