In what comes as a big news for Indian football fans, the India national football team could face 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia in an international friendly match early next year.
The Times of India (TOI) are reporting that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) have held talks recently regarding playing a friendly match between the two national teams.
🇭🇷🇮🇳 Croatian Football Federation and president Davor Šuker host @IndianFootball representatives, including national team head coach Igor Štimac, former #Croatia international.#BeProud #Family pic.twitter.com/WOSMn38rrA
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) September 22, 2019
The two football associations had held a meeting recently to discuss the signing of an MoU between the two nations. It was attended by Croatian FA president Davor Suker, CEO Marijan Kustic, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, national team director Abhishek Yadav and India’s Croatian head coach Igor Stimac.
“This was our first meeting. It was good. Croatia is very strong with their youth development and produce so many great footballers. They made it to the World Cup final too. There is a possibility of playing friendlies, but we will have more clarity in November when we meet again,” Das was quoted as saying by TOI.
A delegation from Croatia will visit India on November 27 to sign the MoU and also hold further discussions regarding future cooperations.
The report also says that the match between India and Croatia is likely to take place in March 2020.
Croatia national team feature superstars like Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic and reached the final of the World Cup in Russia last year only to lose out to France 4-2.
India, meanwhile, are ranked 104th in the FIFA World Rankings and recently held AFC Asian Cup 2019 winners Qatar to a goalless draw in a 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers tie in Doha.