Indian football team to play China after 21 years in a friendly

In the 17 matches that have been played, India hasn’t won a single match with 12 wins for China and the rest have ended in a draw.

Indian football team to play China after 21 years in a friendly

The Indian football team is all set to play against neighbours China for the first time in 21 years, and first time away from home in a friendly international in October with the aim to prepare for the prestigious Asian Cup in 2019. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) confirmed about the same on Friday. 

The AFC Asian Cup is scheduled to held in UAE between January 5 and February 1.

97th ranked India will travel to Beijing to play against 75th ranked China between October 8-16. The dates from the friendly are yet to be officially decided but AIFF has proposed October 13 as a suitable date. Both the teams have encountered 17 times before and all the matches have been played on Indian soil. The last match was played in the Nehru Cup in Kochi in 1997.

As per AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, India might also play against Saudi Arabia, a team with a higher ranking in the continent. Indian captain Sunil Chhetri has constantly urged that the team needs to play against stronger opponents with higher rankings to improve the Indian team’s game. Earlier, Chhetri had won the four-nation match for his team in Mumbai and it would be interesting to see if the Indian players will be able to tackle the Chinese.

Also Read: IOA Denies Indian Football Team Entry In The Asian Games; AIFF Calls It "Lack Of Vision And Competence"

With an eye on the preparation for the Asian Cup, as a coach I couldn't have asked for anything better than an opponent like China. I am sure the boys will make the best of the opportunity presented to us and look forward to test ourselves ahead of the AFC competition," National coach Stephen Constantine.

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