The Indian men’s football team will play two friendlies against Lebanon and Palestine this year, as the team looks to successfully navigate the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers.

The Blue Tigers kick their campaign off with an away game against Myanmar in Yangon on March 28th, while playing a friendly against Cambodia first six days earlier.

Englishman Stephen Constantine, thanked the All India Football Federation and has been very vocal in recent times about the need to play more international matches. Constantine said, “The best way to test your growth is to play against stronger teams. Both Lebanon and Palestine are very strong teams and the matches would help the team immensely as we move forward.”

The team will play Lebanon, currently ranked 155th in the world, on June 7, while the match against Palestine, in 134th place in the latest rankings, is scheduled for October 2. Venues for both games are yet to be decided.

Kushal Das, the secretary of AIFF spoke about the upcoming friendlies, “The AIFF is leaving no stone unturned to provide the best of preparation for the National Team. I hope the two matches would serve as an ideal build-up for future matches in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.”