AIFF mulls friendlies with China

September 24th, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) As a part of its preparation for the 2011 Asia Cup, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is trying to organise some matches for the senior national team with China.AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said that the federation will be sitting down with chief coach Bob Houghton to prepare a three-year project for the Asia Cup in Qatar. India qualified for the tournament after 24 years. In fact, it was Houghton who took China to the World Cup in 2002.

“We are negotiating with China to play some friendlies for our preparation for the Asia Cup. We are also looking for sponsors for the national team and hopefully we will seal a deal with a corporate house next week,” Dasmunsi told reporters here Wednesday.

AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco added that the friendlies could be held around Jan 15 and before that the team will have a camp, most probably outside India.

Dasmunsi also said the national team needs minimum Rs.40 million as an annual budget for Asia Cup preparation.

“The whole project will cost us Rs.250 million so we would urge the corporate houses to come forward and help us,” he said.

The AIFF president also said that the under-16 team, which qualified for the AFC Championship in Uzbekistan next month, will be prepared for the pre-Olympic qualifiers for the 2012 London Games.

The under-16 team leaves for Uzbekistan Oct 1 and the sports ministry has approved Rs.2.6 million for it.

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