Diego Maradona’s team Al Wasl of the UAE could play a friendly with the India U-22 side next month. The match would be part of India’s preparation for the Asian Cup qualifiers in Oman from June 23. If the sports ministry does not fund an exposure trip to west Asia for the qualifiers, it is possible that the AIFF will pay for a weeklong training stint in either Dubai or Doha.
If Al Wasl say they can field a team now that the UAE league is over, India would play Maradona’s team, said an AIFF source. If they can’t and the camp moves to Doha, India U-22 could play the Qatar U-23 side. A 33-player squad will start a preparatory camp in New Delhi from Friday with Australian Arthur Papas as head coach.
No CL berth
Just like 2010-11 champions Salgaocar, I-League 5 winners Dempo are ineligible for the Asian Champions League qualifiers. The champions of I-League 6 too won’t be unless the Asian Football Confederation decides otherwise.
That’s because I-League clubs have missed the May 31 deadline for signing a licensing agreement with the national federation, a mandatory requirement to be eligible for Asia’s apex club meet. This was confirmed by I-League CEO Sunando Dhar from New Delhi on Thursday.
Teams have refused to sign the licensing agreement to protest at the way the I-League is run.