India's preparations for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers has been dealt a blow after Lebanon decided to pull out of a friendly scheduled on June 7th, six days before the Blue Tigers were set to play Kyrgyz Republic in an Asian Cup qualifiers' group game.
The friendly against Lebanon, who are currently ranked 137th in the world, was supposed to be held at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai where the Indian team is set to start a preparation camp from May 20th.
It is learnt that the Lebanese FA decided to pull out from the fixture owing to visa issues. Lebanon wanted its players to be given visas on arrival since they claimed most of their squad members were playing in foreign leagues and it would be hard to apply for prior visas for all of them.
However, the Government of India made it clear that citizens of Lebanon cannot be awarded visa on arrival which prompted the Lebanese FA to pull out from the fixture.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is trying to find another opponent for Stephen Constantine's men before the crucial match against Kyrgyz Republic at the Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru on June 13th.
But, with time a constraint, it seems the Blue Tigers will have no option but to confront Kyrgyz Republic without the advantage of a practice match.