Indian Football

Chaos and confusion over Cambodia's national anthem & flag led to delay in start of their game against India

Arjun Singh Devgan
The AFC is the governing body of football in Asia
The AFC is the governing body of football in Asia / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/GettyImages
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The India men's national team might have cruised to a 2-0 win against Cambodia in their 2023 Asian Cup qualifying campaign opener on Wednesday, June 8 - but the game was not without chaos and complications.

As the players walked onto the ground for the national anthems before kick-off, the announcer on the ground had asked the fans to stand up for the national anthem of Cambodia but instead, the Indian national anthem was played.

The Cambodians for their part were left standing on the ground, waiting for their anthem to start and had to wait for some time before the anthem was actually played in the stadium due to a probable technical glitch - with the incident even causing the game to start after a 10-minute delay.

Cambodia had even threatened to pull out of the AFC Asian Qualifiers tournament hours before their match against India after their national flag produced by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the competition failed to meet the exact specification in terms of design and colour code.

The president of their Federation had reportedly written to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), seeking an apology from both the AFC and the AIFF over the issue, with the AFC issuing an apology for the same.

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