The All India Football Federation have confirmed that the Indian national football team will be taking on West Asian side Yemen in an international friendly on Wednesday, November 14, with Guwahati being the likely venue for the match.
India had last played Yemen in an international friendly on October 13, 2010 as part of their 2011 AFC Asian Cup preparations in Pune and had lost the match 3-6. Before that, they had faced Yemen in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers losing both matches 0-3 at home in Delhi and 1-2 in Sana’a.
Yemen are currently ranked 157th in the FIFA World Rankings, 11 spots higher then India. Only last week Yemen signed Tom Saintfiet of Belgium as their new national coach, who interestingly had been the coach of African side Namibia in a friendly in September 2010 which India had won 2-0.
The Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in the Assamese capital Guwahati looks most likely to host the friendly with the other contender for the match, Siliguri’s Kanchenjunga Stadium, not being up to the mark. Last year, India had played Malaysia on November 13 in Guwahati in front of a large partisan crowd.
Yemen meanwhile are using the match as part of their preparations for the 2012 West Asian Football Federation Championship to be played in Kuwait in December 2012.