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Friendly against Croatia yet to be finalised: AIFF official

Sports Lounge Staff

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AIFF Croatia

New Delhi: India might be keen to play Croatia in a friendly but the 2018 Fifa World Cup finalists are yet to agree on it, as per reports.

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das and the national team’s director Abhishek Yadav were in Zagreb recently for a meeting with Croatia Football Federation (CFF). India’s Croatian football coach Igor Stimac was also present.

CFF president Davor Suker and CEO Marijan Kustic held preliminary discussions regarding a MoU to support Indian football. Reports that emerged after the meeting suggested the possibility of a friendly match, possibly held in Croatia, in March.

But a CFF official declined to to talk about the friendly.

“We can’t talk about specific details of the meeting, and we can’t comment on any discussions regarding possible friendly matches. Croatian Football Federation announces all its friendly agreements on the official website, and before that, we don’t comment on any possible negotiation regarding friendly matches,” CFF media officer Tomislav Pacak told IANS.

For the friendly to happen, the AIFF and the CFF would have to agree upon a number of issues, ranging from financial ramifications to Fifa friendly dates.

“It is too early to talk about playing Croatia in a friendly. But it was a fruitful meeting and we would like to get technical support from them,” a top AIFF official, was quoted as saying by IANS.

A Suker-led CFF delegation is likely to visit India in November for advanced talks on the MoU and it is possible that further talks regarding the friendly could happen then.

India are presently playing in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers and have one point from two matches. They next host Bangladesh in Kolkata on October 15.