The Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Sarusajai, Guwahati will host the first of two friendly matches of the Indian national football team against Malaysia. The first-ever Indian international match to take place in the Northeast Region is scheduled for November 13.
The Assam Football Association (AFA) made the announcement on Friday and secretary Ankur Dutta expressed his joy on the plans of the All India Football Federation (AIFF). However Dutta made clear that a final decision on the venue will be only made after an inspection by AIFF officials.
The AFA secretary expressed his concerns over the poor ground conditions at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, which hosted the National Games in 2007. “The turf after what we observed this morning needs adequate rolling. An AIFF team will be inspecting the ground in the second or third week this month,” Dutta said.
The AFA has asked the Assamese State Government to provide their support to prepare the venue properly to host an international FIFA match.
Thereupon Assamese Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has instructed the Sports Minister to take the necessary steps to refurnish the stadium for the India vs Malaysia match.
The national teams of India and Malaysia will arrive in Guwahati two days before the match. Both teams will continue their journey after the match and travel to Kolkata for the second match between both teams. The second match is scheduled to take place at the Saltlake Stadium on November 16.
“Both the matches will be held on FIFA match days. Hence, the onus is on the teams to improve their ranking. The All India Football Federation has decided to organise the ties to prepare for the South Asian Football Federation championship in New Delhi in December,” Dutta added.
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