Indian fans barred from watching India's FIFA U17 World Cup stars in U19 friendly vs Qatar
After the FIFA U17 World Cup, India have been preparing for the qualification round matches for the AFC U19 Championship which takes place in Indonesia next year. 14 players from the India U17 team which participated in the World Cup have been included in the U19 team for the qualifiers round starting on 4th November. India are placed in the group which has hosts Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Turkmenistan and will play Saudi Arabia on 4th November.
The Indian U17 team had an overwhelming support back at home during the FIFA U17 World Cup, and fans were keen to watch the players playing in the prestigious tournament. There is a large number of the Indian population in the middle east and Indian football teams have always got great support when they go to play in the middle east.
The India Colts had travelled to Qatar on 25th October for practice matches before the qualification rounds start. India had scheduled a practice match against Qatar yesterday. Hundreds of fans were so excited to watch the young Indian kids playing in blue that they had gone to the ground to watch the friendly match against Qatar but were not allowed to enter the ground by the Qatari police.
It was alleged that the fans stopped from entering the ground as per the request of the Indian team officials. A tweet from one fan read: "100s of Indian fans locked out of U-19 friendly b/w Qatar & India. Policeman says it's as per request of the Indian team." The actual reason for the action by the Qatari police which was unknown as the match went on and India suffered a narrow 1-0 loss has now been revealed by the same fan on Twitter.
That said, the fans who gathered at the stadium had to return dejected after their non-permission to attend the game.
India U19s lost to Qatar U19s 1-0 in a match which saw a red card given to India's star goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem but the custodian was allowed to play on since it was only a preparatory friendly.