Chennai lined up to host India’s friendlies against Philippines and Nepal

Koevermans points to international exposure for the players, while on the other hand restoring team morale is unspoken anthem after SAFF debacle...

Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru complex will play host to two possible friendlies for the Indian national team, as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) have roped in the Philippines and Nepal to play the games on November 15th and 19th  respectively.

However, the participation of Nepal was still suspect as the Indian FA hadn’t received confirmation from their counter-parts in the mountainous country.

Elucidated an AIFF official, to The Times of India, “It’s more or less confirmed that the Philippines and Nepal will play India. There are a few issues with Nepal, but talks are on and we are hopeful that we’ll be able to sort it out soon.”

Wim Koevermans, the Dutch coach of the Indian national team,  will be desperate for his squad to play both friendlies, especially to restore team morale, after suffering humiliation earlier this year in light of the failed South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) tournament campaign in Nepal. India lost to Afghanistan in the final and Nepal in the group stages.

“It’s important to give international exposure to the boys and the two matches will be a great learning experience. We have played Nepal before, but not Philippines since I took over as the national coach. So it is going to be a new experience,” explained Koevermans.  

Subrata Paul, Syed Rahim Nabi, Nirmal Chettri and Gouramangi Moirangthem have pledged their alliances with the IMG-Reliance tournament and as a result havent’ been playing in the I-League this season. Nallapan Mohanraj is with Mumbai Tigers who shall possibly ply their trade in the I-League second division. The players from the disbanded Pailan Arrows shall train in Kalyani from the 17th of this month.

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