More friendlies with West Asian countries in pipeline, says Subrata Datta

All India Football Federation (AIFF) Vice President Subrata Datta, who was recently elected vice president of the South West Asian Football Federation, said the Indian football team will play more games against West Asian teams.

The Indian football team is currently ranked number 97 in the FIFA chart and will compete in the Asian Cup in January next year.   -  PTI

Newly-elected vice president of the South West Asian Football Federation Subrata Dutta said the Indian team will play more friendlies with West Asian teams on a regular basis from now on.

“This will help India improve their rankings. I believe SWAFF will surely help India to develop,” AIFF senior vice-president Dutta said.

Dutta was elected for a four-year term by the newly formed SWAFF during its general assembly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

India is currently ranked number 97 in the FIFA chart and will compete in the Asian Cup in January next year. India is clubbed with UAE, Thailand and Bahrain in group A of the continental showpiece and it’s expected that the team will play international friendlies against higher-ranked Saudi Arabia and China in AFC Asian Cup build-up later this year.

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“I believe SWAFF will surely help India to develop. AIFF shall support SWAFF to fulfil its objectives. We shall also give our best efforts for the achievement of SWAFF’s mission and vision,” he said.

Dutta said SWAFF president Adel Ezzat, who heads the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, will visit India either on August 30 or 31 to meet his AIFF counterpart Praful Patel and find out how the new football body can help the country in the development of the sport.

“President of Saudi Arabia Football Federation, Adel Ezzat, who is also the President of SWAFF, shall come to India end of this month to finalise it,” Dutta added.