Kathmandu: The Indian football team has arrived in Nepal on Monday for the two friendly matches scheduled with Nepal.
India is competing with Nepal at Dasharath Stadium in Tripureshwor on September 3 and 4.
The SAAF Championship is being held in Maldives from October 1 to 16. In preparation for that, a friendly game is being played between Nepal and India. Nepal had competed with neighboring India in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. The game ended in a goalless draw.
When the Indian team captain Sunil Chhetri came to Nepal to play a friendly match on Monday, he responded to the media in Nepali language.
He also praised the performance of the Nepali team, saying that he was happy to play in the country of grandfather, grandmother and mother. Edited excerpt of the interview with the media on arrival at Tribhuvan Airport:
You are coming to Nepal and playing a friendly game. How do you take the preparation game ahead of the clean championship?
We are happy to come and play in Nepal. The game with Nepal is not so easy. It has great significance. Currently, the situation is difficult due to Kovid-19. Even in such a situation, Nepal has extended hospitality. I am happy to play a friendly game with Nepal.
How do you see the Nepali team?
We have played with Nepal before. Nepal is a strong and tough opponent. Lately, he has been performing well and getting good results. Tribhuvan Army Club played well in AFC. Nepal always plays well, the team is in good form.
How has India progressed to a clean championship?
Our situation is very difficult now. Our league is over because of the Corona epidemic. Only two clubs are practicing. We have been preparing for the clean championship for two weeks. But there are few senior players. In such a situation, the two friendly matches with Nepal are very important for us.
After these two games, we will go to Maldives for a clean championship. Many of our senior players have played in the AFC Cup. Eight players from two clubs are playing in the Maldives. Due to which we could not start the practice on time. The team includes junior players. The coaches are satisfied with their performance. I also joined the team later.
There are many fans of Sunil Chhetri in Nepal as well. What is the experience like playing in Nepal?
I am very happy to play in Nepal. My grandparents were from here. Mami is also from here. Everyone is safe in the current epidemic. I urge all Nepalis to live in safety.