Despite putting up an inspiring performance, India lost 1-2 to Jordan in their penultimate friendly before the AFC Asian Cup next year. This was the first match between the two countries which was played at King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman on Saturday.
Missing most of their first team players, India conceded the first goal in the 25th minute thanks to a blunder by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Jordan increased their lead in the second half through a screamer from Ehsan Haddad. The visitors reduced the margin soon but failed to find an equaliser thereafter.
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However, the off-field issues became a topic of debate even after the match. There were twists and turns on every step. There was a rumour of the match being called off until a twist on Saturday morning when the All Indian Football Federation announced that the match will go on despite several adversities.
We picked nine instances that highlighted more than what happened on the pitch:
#9 Booking two flights for players
Most of the developed countries have a private jet which carries off the players to other countries. In India, that is a distant dream. Even the richest sports body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t have a private aircraft.
In that case, the wise idea was to book all the tickets on a single plane so that everyone could reach Jordan at the same time. But that didn’t happen. There were two groups, the first batch comprised seven players and the second one consisted of 15 players along with the coach and other support staffs.
The first reached Kuwait and was stuck there for 32 hours. The second batch was lucky as their flight was diverted to Doha and they reached Amman on Friday morning, only a few hours late of their scheduled arrival.
The first batch, which had seven players namely Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Manvir Singh, Sumeet Passi, Udanta Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan had to overcome all the adversities.
It’s true that AIFF was unaware that something like this could happen but they should learn from their mistakes and should book all the tickets on the same carrier.