FIFA WC 2022 Qualifiers: Salt Lake Stadium to host India's match against Afghanistan
- The 'Mecca of India football' has been announced as the venue for the match.
What's the story?
The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, officially known as the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, has been announced by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as the venue for India's home match against Afghanistan. The match will serve as a joint qualifier for FIFA World Cup 2022 as well as the 2023 AFC Cup.
In case you didn't know
India has struggled in the joint qualifying round of the FIFA WC 2022 and the 2023 AFC Cup as they have failed to pick up a single win in the first five matches. The Blue Tigers started the campaign on a high with a hard-fought 0-0 draw away against Qatar. It was followed by a 1-2 loss against Oman at home. Further draws against Bangladesh and Afghanistan dampened India's chances of making it to the top two of the group. In the fifth match, India lost 1-0 to Oman after putting on a strong display in Muscat.
The heart of the matter
India will be hosting Afghanistan on 9th June, 2020 in a match that will serve as a joint qualifier for two tournaments -- the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Cup. An emergency committee organized by the AIFF decided to host the match in the 'Mecca of Indian football' -- the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
In June, the Indian national football team will be traveling to Bangladesh and then will host the Afghanistan national team in Kolkata. Igor Stimac, the Indian football head coach, will be hoping to get all six points from the couple of matches in June as India are ranked a lowly fourth in a group that has arguably only two teams stronger on paper than the Blue Tigers.
After the Indian Super League wraps up, the Blue Tigers will be visiting Qatar to face the table-toppers in a fierce outing. Stimac will be hoping to get a repeat of the heroic performance against the same opponents (earlier in the qualifying stages).Published 02 Mar 2020, 14:27 IST