Stephen Constantine wants India players to assemble by December 10 for 2019 AFC Asian Cup camp

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AIFF Media
The Indian team head coach has outlined his plans for the preparation regarding the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE...

India defeated Kenya 2-0 in the final of the four-nation 2018 Intercontinental Cup held at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday evening.

The tournament was organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) between four teams from three different continents, with New Zeland and Chinese Taipei being the other two contestants.

India thumped Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the opening game before grabbing another victory over Kenya with a 3-0 scoreline.

Even a narrow 2-1 loss to New Zealand in the final group game could not prevent the hosts from entering the final where they beat the  Harambee Stars yet again.

As the senior team is preparing for the AFC Asian Cup to be staged in UAE in 2019, Stephen Constantine's next tournament will be the Asian Games in Indonesia during August where the U23 side will take part.

Subsequently, immediately after the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship that will take place in Bangladesh in September, the AIFF has lined up two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Syria for the final quarter of 2018.

"There will definitely be two games sometime in December, before the Asian Cup. We're close for a game with Saudi in November, it's not fully confirmed however. I'm happy that the Olympic committee for allowing us for the Asian Cup," said Constantine at the post-match press conference.

"We need these games, and the players will also be better at their clubs. Obviously, we'd like to get players on December 10, as that will help them get used to the situation," the India coach added.

India are currently placed 97th in the FIFA Rankings and have previously appeared in the Asian Cup on three counts. The Blue Tigers did not manage to get past the first round in 1984 and 2011 but had finished runners-up in 1964.

Alongside India in Group A of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, are hosts UAE, Thailand and Bahrain.


 

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