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India to play 10 friendlies in Europe next year: Stimac
Mumbai, Dec 6: Indian football coach Igor Stimac has said that the team will be playing 10 matches in Europe next year. The men's senior team's next set of FIFA World Cup qualifiers will be taking place in March and June 2020 and Stimac said that they will be playing 10 friendly games by that time.
"We are already quite sure that we are going to have 10 friendly games until June," the Croatian said in a Facebook Live session.
"I presented my calendar to the AIFF Technical Committee because the budgets need to be approved. But, once we finish the ISL semi-finals and final, we will have a camp in March to prepare for the Qatar game and a friendly we are trying to organise. Between that camp and the camp in June, we are taking the team abroad to Europe for 6-7 weeks to play 10 games. I did everything possible in my capacity to have more than 14 games this year. We will get it soon."
India will host Qatar on March 26, 2020 and then face Bangladesh away from home on June 4. They then host Afghanistan on June 9 which will be the final game of their second round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification and possibly the last match of their World Cup qualification overall.
India are placed fourth in Group E after five games with two losses, three draws and no wins which means their chances of going through to the next round of World Cup qualification is almost impossible but they remain in contention of making the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.