SAFF Championship schedule leaves India’s friendlies against Philippines and Malaysia in doubt

The Blue Tigers were to be in action against Malaysia and Philippines in September but looks unlikely that the games will be held...

In light of the AFC Cup commitments of India’s East Bengal and Maldives’ New Radiant Sports Club, the South Asia Football Federation (SAFF) Championship has been rescheduled and shall be played from this year September 1 to 11th 

However India, who had scheduled friendly games against Philippines and Malaysia on September 6 and 10th respectively, are caught in a spot and have asked their head coach Wim Koevermans to come up with a solution.

SAFF Championship was set to kickoff from September 18 however with East Bengal and New Radiant Sports Club making it into the quarterfinals of the AFC Cup, the governing body for football in South Asia had no option but to alter their schedule.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had planned international friendlies in order to prepare for the competition however a change in scheduling has put the Indian FA in an embarrassing situation.

Koevermans and previous coach Bob Houghton have time and again stressed on the importance to play on FIFA days in order to improve the country’s rankings.

India’s tour to England in June where they were to play a friendly series against Pakistan and Bangladesh too never saw the light of the day with the sponsors backing out in the eleventh hour.