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AFC Asian Cup 2019: AIFF planning friendly games against Syria and Saudi Arabia

3.07K   //    06 Jun 2018, 12:00 IST

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri

What's the story?

AIFF is in talks to organize a couple of friendly games against strong opponents, in an attempt to prepare for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. The two nations against whom India is expected to play in these friendly games are Syria and Saudi Arabia.

In case you didn't know...

Saudi Arabia is currently ranked 67th in the official FIFA World Rankings, thirty places above India. Meanwhile, Syria is also in the top 100, as they occupy the 76th place.

Both the teams will provide good competition for India if the friendly games do indeed take place.

The heart of the matter

The AFC Asian Cup will take place in the United Arab Emirates, early next year. India is making just their fourth appearance in the competition and has been drawn alongside hosts UAE, Thailand, and Bahrain.

In preparation for the Asian Cup, AIFF is in talks to organize a couple of friendly games against strong outfits. The two possible opponents being touted are Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is in the middle of a football resurgence and have even qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they'll play the opening match of the tournament against hosts Russia.

On the other hand, Syria suffered heartbreak in their bid to qualify for this year's World Cup, when they went down to Australia in the qualifiers.

Both teams will provide a good competition for the Blue Tigers in their bid to prepare for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

What's next?

India is currently taking part in the 2018 Intercontinental Cup. The competition is providing the Blue Tigers with a much-needed boost ahead of their AFC Asian Cup campaign.

The two friendly games are expected to take place in the upcoming months before India heads out to the UAE for the Asian Cup.

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