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U-23 Indian soccer team to play 2 friendlies against Singapore

PTI | New Delhi |

As part of preparation for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championships to be held in Doha, the Indian Under-23 football team is set to play two international friendlies against Singapore.

National coach Stephen Constantine felt the games would be a “learning experience” for the team.

“It's been two weeks that we have been together and the U-23 boys need competitive games. The tour to Singapore would be a valuable experience for the squad to gauge the intensity of international encounters. I thank AIFF for arranging the matches ahead of our AFC Qualifiers,” Constantine said.

“The games would be competitive and provide us the much needed exposure,” he added.

It has been under Constantine's coaching that the senior national team has jumped 73 places in the FIFA Rankings to be currently placed 100.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said the primary objective of the AIFF is to provide the “best exposure to all national teams”.

“It is really frustrating that despite applying well in advance and after multiple follow-ups for the US visas we failed to get any response from the concerned authorities. I need to thank the Singapore FA for agreeing for the two international matches which would provide valuable practice for our U-23 boys prior to the AFC U-23 Qualifiers,” he said.

The Under-23 team presently preparing here since June 19 will fly to Singapore in the first week of July from where they will directly proceed to take on Turkmenistan, Qatar and Syria in Group C from July 19 onwards.