New Delhi: The Indian football team will play an international friendly match against Philippines at home on November 15. All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das told PTI that Philippines have agreed to play the match.
"Yes, it is confirmed that we are playing against Philippines at home on November 15," Das said.
Since November 15 falls on a FIFA international match day, the result will be counted for rankings. Besides, the clubs will have to release their players for the international match.
The match will be beneficial for some of the India players who have been without an I-Leauge club after aligning with the IMG-Reliance for the IPL-style football league early next year as they will get an opportunity to be in action.
The AIFF had kept a gap of more than 15 days in the I-League fixture between November 6 and 23 with just one match -- East Bengal vs Mohammedan Sporting on November 10 being scheduled -- apparently to accomodate this international friendly.
East Bengal's early round matches of the I-League had been kept for later dates because of their AFC Cup assignments and they have been slotted to play their second round match against Mohammedan Sporting on November 10.
Coach Wim Koevermans is exepected to conduct a short camp before the international friendly match against Philippines.
It will have to be seen whether East Bengal players like Mehtab Hossain and Arnab Mondal, who are expected to be named in the national sqaud, are asked to join the camp from the beginning or join after their side's I-League match against Mohemmedan Sporting.
The match against Phillippines will be India's third international friendly of the year. The team lost to Palestine 2-4 in February in Pune and then suffered a 0-3 drubbing at the hands of Tajikistan at Khujand in August.
India are ranked 155th in the latest FIFA chart while the Philippines are at 141st.