India, Feb 5: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Friday that the senior Indian men’s football team will play two international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus on March 23, and March 26, 2022, respectively.
Both the matches, which will be played in Manama, Bahrain against the home team against the Indian football team, are a part of the preparation of the squad’s campaign in the AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers, which is scheduled to be held in June 2022.
#BlueTigers 🐯 to play International Friendlies against Bahrain 🇧🇭, Belarus🇧🇾
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) February 4, 2022
“Given the current circumstances, it was extremely difficult to find the kind of opponents we were looking for. But I am very happy that we have the two matches on our schedule,” head coach Igor Stimac said.
“We are doing our best to prepare well for the upcoming final qualifying round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, and these two matches will immensely facilitate our preparatory process,” he added.
“Both Bahrain and Belarus are ranked higher than us, and if all goes well with the Hero ISL season with our boys putting in good performances, and playing competitive games we should be ready,” Stimac further added.
Bahrain is placed 91st in the FIFA Rankings, while Belarus are 94th. India’s current FIFA ranking is 104.