AIFF – The New Indian Express
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s men’s soccer team will play an international friendly against top-seeded Zambia in Doha on May 25, the sport’s top governing body said on Friday.
The match is part of India’s preparation for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup final round tie to be held in Kolkata from June 8.
The Indian senior team is ranked 106th in the FIFA rankings, 19 places below the 87th ranked African nation.
“The Football Association of India confirms a Blue Tigers friendly match against Zambia in Doha on May 25,” the AIFF said in a statement.
The match closely follows the international friendlies in March when India played Bahrain and Belarus in Bahrain.
The Blue Tigers have been camping since April 23 – first in Bellary, then in Kolkata where the national team will also play two more friendlies – one against a combined I-League All-Star XI and the other with the Bengal Santosh Trophy contingent.
The Blue Tigers have already faced ATK Mohun Bagan in another friendly match on May 11, which they lost 1-2.
The final round of Asian Cup qualifiers will take place over three matchdays on June 8, 11 and 14. The group winners and the top five second-placed teams will earn a ticket to the main tournament in China which is scheduled to start in June. 16 next year.