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AFC Asian Cup

Indian National Football team - Nepal replace Lebanon as friendly opponents

07:52 BST 17/05/2017
India Nepal SAFF Cup 2015
With the friendly against Lebanon having been cancelled, The Blue Tigers face up to the Gorkhalis...

Indian football aficionados lamenting the cancellation of the Indian national team's friendly against Lebanon, previously scheduled for June 7th, may wipe away tears of frustration and look joyfully ahead to familiar opponents on national soil.

Step forward Nepal, who have agreed bear the mantle of the away side in the newly scheduled friendly in Mumbai's Andheri Sports Complex, come June 6th.

In a release on the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) website, the Gorkhalis' FA state that the fixture will provide the perfect preparatory bout for both teams' Asian Football Confederation's (AFC)  Asian Cup 2019 Group stage qualifiers, scheduled just a week later.

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The Nepali coach Gyotoki Koji has already initiated a training camp for the two ties. The last time these two teams went head to head, India trounced their landlocked neighbours 4-1 in a South Asian Football Federation's (SAFF) Championship fixture. 

The Lebanese FA opted out of the match after bureaucratic issues with regards to visas on arrival for the Lebanese national team players. The Government of India clarified that there would be no 'Visa on Arrival' for The Cedars.

The Blue Tigers will play Kyrgyzstan on June 13th, while Nepal will prepare to face Yemen for their respective group qualifier games. Just over a month ago, the Stephen Constantine coached side overcame Myanmar on foreign soil by a slender margin courtesy of a Sunil Chhetri goal. They sit atop Group 'A', with the Kyrgyz closely behind them.