Seven Indian Players Miss Flight Ahead Of India’s Football Friendly Against Bahrain Due To Visa Trouble
Bahrain -Seven Indian national football team players, who were supposed to play in an international friendly match against higher-ranked Bahrain on Wednesday, are likely to miss the match due to visa-related issues.
They had to stay back in Mumbai due to the non-issuance of visas. They could not travel along with the team from Mumbai to Manama on Monday. Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, defender Chinglensana Singh, Akash Mishra, and midfielders Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Aniket Yadav, and Bipin Singh could not board the flight along with their other team-mates because their visa approval did not come on time.
Head coach Igor Stimac and the other teammates reached Manama on Monday. The Indian team will lock horns in international friendlies against hosts Bahrain on Wednesday and against Belarus on Saturday. Both the matches are set to kick off at 9.30 PM IST.
Head coach Igor Stimac revealed the issue in the pre-match press conference. Stimac revealed that the applications for the documents were sent two months earlier. Stimac further said, “Hopefully they will get permission to fly and join the team tonight. Otherwise, we cannot be optimistic that these players will be involved in the game.” Stimac is still unsure about the strategy he will employ on Wednesday against higher-ranked Bahrain. India has never beaten Bahrain in their football history.
The Bahrain friendly will also be the first time that the Indians face them in three years. Sandesh Jhingan, an Indian professional footballer, said, “I think the last game against Bahrain was a heart-breaking one for every Indian, but that’s football.” He said that he will do his best in the upcoming match.
Reportedly, Wednesday’s game against Bahrain offers Stimac the chance to test players who have done well in the Indian Super League this season.
Reportedly, the two friendlies are part of the team’s preparation for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June.