According to the Times Of India, the Indian National Football team were supposed to play a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on the 31st of August 2015. The friendly was all but confirmed before India played Oman in the first World Cup Qualifier on the 11th of June. But the loss to Guam resulted in the cancellation of the friendly leaving India to set up the game against Nepal.
“Stephen wanted to play Trinidad and Tobago and that was the plan initially. Everything was finalised, but after the loss to Guam, things changed rapidly,” TOI quoted a source. Stephen Constantine said that he was unhappy that he was unable to play too many friendlies with the team. Trinidad and Tobago would have posed as a brilliant warm up game before the Iran game as the Carribean team is placed just 15 places below the Asian heavyweights in the latest FIFA rankings.
TOI further added the Sports Authority Of India were unhappy about the changes that have been made to the coaching staff of the team. Lee Johnson who is Constantine’s assistant for the senior team also manages the U-19 team does not have A license.
Physiotherapist Daniel Darrel Deigan, and goalkeeping coach Rogerio Ramos’s jobs are also in question as Deigan had to be registered as a masseur beacuse he did not meet the FIFA and AFC standards. Ramos also does not have a proper licence to handle his job.
“SAI DG (Inteji Srinivas) questioned Kushal (Das, general secretary) over the appointment of so many foreigners in the support staff resulting to nothing,” according to the TOI source. “They are also unhappy at the way India brought national shame with Guam loss. There were indications of cutting down on annual grant also.”
“The physio was taken as masseur the last time since he did not meet FIFA and AFC guidelines. The goalkeeping coach too does not have a proper license.”
India are scheduled to play Iran in the third match of the World Cup Qualifier on the 8th of September. A defeat would mean the Indian quest to reach the World Cup finals for the first time in their history was almost over. The team will play Nepal on the 31st of August.
Even though the players require a match to reach match sharpness, Nepal is not the ideal team to play against. Nepal haven’t won an international game for two years since beating India in the SAFF Championships in 2013.