Indian men’s football team to shake horns with Oman, UAE in friendlies

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The Indian Football Association (AIFF) confirmed on Tuesday that the men’s team will fight in two international friendlies in March.

The Blue Tigers will face Oman in the first game on March 25 while the second game is scheduled against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 29. Both matches will take place in Dubai.

“The AIFF confirms two international friendlies for the Indian men’s national team in March 2021,” AIFF said in a statement.

It was in November 2019 that the Blue Tigers last played on the international stage in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers Qatar 2022 against Afghanistan (in Tajikistan) and Oman (in Muscat).

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India currently have three points from their five games so far with two home games against Asian champions Qatar and Afghanistan, and one away game against Bangladesh still to play. .

As part of the preparation for the two matches against Oman and the United Arab Emirates in March, the national team will meet in a pre-season camp from March 15. The camp will also be held in Dubai under the direction of head coach Igor Stimac to allow the boys to acclimatize faster.

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The two friendlies are part of the U-16 boys’ national team which visited the United Arab Emirates in February 2021, and the women’s national team’s tour of Turkey where they played in matches against Serbia, Russia and Ukraine.

In addition, India is set to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup next year, the preparation of which has already started, with a two-month camp in Goa, followed by three matches in Turkey.

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