Indian Football

Results in Friendly Games Will Not Have an Impact on India's World Cup Qualifiers, Claims Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Arjun Singh Devgan
India are scheduled to take part in their remaining 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers
India are scheduled to take part in their remaining 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers / KHALED DESOUKI/Getty Images

India national football team's stars, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Pritam Kotal have opened up on the Blue Tigers international friendlies which they played in March, revealing that those results will have no impact on the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Returning to action after a long COVID-19 break, India had held Oman to a 1-1 draw but suffered a 0-6 loss against UAE in the two international friendlies in March, which has led many to believe that the Blue Tigers might not be ready for more tougher opposition.

"The less we think about it, the better. It's past. But it's significant to remember what happened as it drives us to understand the part we need to work upon. We have three clean slates in front of us. It's up to us as to what we need to write upon them," Sandhu said in a release issued by AIFF.

India are scheduled to face hosts, Qatar on June 3, followed by matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan on June 7 and 15 respectively. Kotal believes that the games in Dubai came after a long break and that they will now be facing completely different opposition, which is completely different.

"The perspective of Dubai and Doha are entirely different. In Dubai, we played two different teams in the two matches. That was our return to International Football after almost 16 months. The two matches enabled us to slap all the negatives. June will surely be better."

India are already out of contention for a place in the 2022 World Cup considering that they are placed fourth in Group E with three points, though they are still in the reckoning for a berth in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup scheduled to be held in China.