India’s international friendly against Yemen cancelled
The international friendly between India and Yemen which was scheduled to take place on November 14 in Guwahati has been cancelled, the All India Football Federation notified through a press release on Thursday.
The press release read, “AIFF received an e-mail from the Yemen Football Association on Thursday (November 8) morning that tickets were cancelled due to some problems with the Airlines. ‘The Gulf Airlines cancelled their reservations for late notification,’ the mail stated.”
AIFF further added in the press release that the Yemen FA did not communicate with them further and efforts to get a replacement team were unsuccessful due to time constraints.
The Indian FA have reported the matter to AFC but the cancellation comes as a big blow to the plans of Wim Koevermans who is eager to play on every FIFA match date to give his team regular international exposure and increase the chances of improving the FIFA Ranking.
This is not the first time that the AIFF have had to deal with a last minute withdrawal as Kenya pulled out of Nehru Cup 2012.
In August 2011 during the Caribbean Tour, India’s friendly against Barbados was cancelled after the poor treatment meted out to the Indian national team following their arrival in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Interestingly ahead of the match, Yemen coach Tom Saintfiet had told Sportskeeda about the hectic travelling schedule that his team would have to endure.
“We only fly on Sunday afternoon, and arrive after a flight of 20 hours on Monday around lunchtime in Guwahati. Late booking gave us no other option than to fly from Sana’a to Bahrain, then to Mumbai, from Mumbai to New Delhi and from there to Calcutta and then to Guwahati, it’s crazy and very bad as preparation for a national team game. Very unprofessional and I don’t expect my team to be top fit at the match on Wednesday,” he told to Sportskeeda.
The cancellation it seems will also affect the plans of Saintfiet and strangely he is yet to be informed by the Yemen FA about the cancellation.
“I am not informed yet by the Yemen FA. It’s crazy, Wim Koevermans contacted me and told me, my own FA is not reachable, I email and call the people but no reply. So no idea what is going on, I am shocked, angry and disappointed, this match was crucial in our preparation. Now I have no match before the WAFF Championship and can’t form my team or try out players,” he stated.