In less than three months, India’s Under-17 football team will begin its quest to win the World Cup taking place in the country. However, logistical issues have affected the team’s preparations, reported the Times of India.
The team was supposed to leave for Mexico on July 26 to play three friendlies. However, the trip has been delayed because of visa and ticketing issues. The team will now arrive in Mexico on July 31.
According to the report, a courier sent by the Mexican football federation to the country’s embassy in Delhi, carrying a bank statement in support of the Indian team’s players, was delayed by four days. Once the visas were issued, flights from Delhi to Mexico City were running full, the report said.
“Unfortunately, because of visa and, later, ticketing issues, the team is forced to leave in batches,” All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das was quoted as saying. “The first batch [with nine players] left this morning, some will leave on Sunday and the last batch with about five players should be in Mexico early on July 31. It’s not an ideal situation but we were left with no choice.”
India will play three friendlies – against Mexico (August 3), Colombia (August 4) and Chile (August 6). The AIFF has asked the tour organisers to reschedule India’s last two friendlies by a day. Earlier, a training camp scheduled to take place in the United States was also cancelled.