Lebanon Cancel Friendly Match With India

Tuesday, 16 May 2017|Abhranil Roy

India’s preparations for the 2019 AFC Cup qualifiers suffered a big blow with Lebanon pulling out from playing a pre-decided friendly match on Tuesday.  The West Asian nation, who were scheduled to face the Blue Tigers on 7th June, cited problems in procuring visas for their players as the sole reason for cancelling the fixture.

The Lebanese FA wanted their players to be given Visa on arrival as most of them are playing in leagues outside the country and pre-applying of Visa was not possible. But with Lebanon not falling under Indian Government's approved list of countries granted "Visa on Arrival", the Government of India refused to obliged, prompting the Lebanese FA to call off the match.

Stephen Constantine’s side resumes their qualifier campaign against the Kyrghyz Republic on June 13th and were all set to play the 137th-rank Lebanon at the  Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai where the National Team is set to start a preparatory camp from 20th May. 

Expressing his disappointment, the national team coach said: “The decision of the Lebanon FA, that too at the 11th hour comes as a jolt for our preparations for the crucial AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrghyz Republic. Even as we are trying to find a replacement team, I understand that’s it’s very difficult as all other teams have already finalized their matches.”