Indian football team's friendly against Jordan to go ahead as per schedule

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru/Amman, November 17: India kick start their preparations for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with an international friendly against Jordan -- the first between the two countries-- at Amman's King Abdullah II Stadium on Saturday (November 17).

The match will start at 10.30pm IST and will be shown live on Star Sports 3.

In addition to the absence of star player Sunil Chhetri, India also had to endure a lot of travel woes en route to Amman.

Heavy rains had lashed Middle East countries for the past one week throwing the air traffic completely out of gear.

A 15-member group including the likes of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and others had already reached Jordan on Thursday (November 15).

However, a group of seven Indian players along with officials reached late on Friday (November 16) night after their flight to Amman was diverted due to heavy rainfall.

To add to all the dismay and frustration, the luggage including player's kits, team equipment and personal belongings of all the players and support staff also went missing when they landed in Amman.

Some of the players and official were stuck at the Kuwait airport for over ten hours.

The country had been devastated by floods over the past few days. Their flight had to be diverted to Doha but the fatigue .

The pre-match press conference which was supposed to be conducted on Friday evening involving both the Jordan head coach Vital Borkelmans and his Indian counterpart Stephen Constantine had also been cancelled and soo too the practice sessions.

Despite all the drama, the match will go ahead as per schedule.

Constantine had quite often spoken about the need to play more friendlies against quality opposition.

"The moment that we qualified, I sat down and thought that 'Well, we need to play these teams leading up to the Asian Cup'. It's going to be tough and we're going to be under pressure," Constantine had said.

India, whose latest FIFA ranking is 97, do not have any international friendlies lined up in the current window. They are next slated to take on Oman on December 27.

With Chhetri injured, for the Jordan game, India had announced a 22-man squad featuring the likes of FC Goa's Indian Super League heroes Manvir Singh and Jackichand Singh and Bengaluru FC's Nishu Kumar.

At the AFC Asian Cup to be held in the UAE from January 5 to February 1, India are drawn along with the hosts, familiar foes Bahrain and Thailand.

India, who are returning to the quadrennial extravaganza after an eight-year gap, begin their campaign on January 6 against Thailand at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Kick off

Jordan vs India, 10.30 pm IST

Live on Star Sports 3

Live streaming on Hotstar

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