India’s football friendly against Gambia called offBy IANS
Monday, September 13, 2010
NEW DELHI - India’s international football friendly match against Gambia slated for Sep 19 has been called off as chief coach Bob Houghton was not interested in playing African teams in the national team’s preparations for the Asian Cup in Doha in January.
An AIFF official told IANS that the federation was forced to call off the friendly at the last hour as Houghton stood his ground.
“We have called off the match since coach Bob Houghton was not in favour of playing African teams,” said the official.
Houghton always had some reservations about playing against African teams like Namibia and Gambia. India will play Namibia here Wednesday.
“We are playing the Asian Cup not the African Cup of Nations. My logic was since we are playing an Asian tournament, we should concentrate on playing Asian teams,” Houghton had said last week.
The AIFF is now looking to replace Gambia with a higher ranked Asian team next week. India will play Yemen and Vietnam next month in Pune.