NEW DELHI: Nepal has offered to play two international friendlies against India during the August 30-September 7 window after the country's apex football body could not get other teams on board due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will organise a 15-day camp for the senior men's national team starting August 15 in preparation for the two international games the country is likely to play during that FIFA window.
"Nepal Football Association has offered AIFF an option of playing two friendlies with the Indian senior men's national team in the above-mentioned window. At the moment, there aren't any quarantine restrictions for Indian citizens visiting Nepal," the AIFF said in a statement.
The AIFF said it had initiated talks with many teams regarding playing friendlies against India but quarantine restrictions in various countries did "not allow such talks to materialise."
At the moment most countries in Asia have very strict quarantine rules for visitors coming in from other countries and owing to the current pandemic situation Indian citizens are also not allowed to travel to certain countries.
"The AIFF had even tossed up the idea of playing international friendlies in Europe with countries from Africa and Asia, but even there the quarantine rules played spoilsport," the federation said.
"Moreover, with the current stringent restriction of visitors coming to India for government guidelines pertaining to health parameters, no other team can visit India during the time frame without going through quarantine protocols," the AIFF said.
The AIFF thanked the Nepal FA for their offer and said it is in the process of "finalising the proposal" with the head coach, Igor Stimac.
After the friendlies, India will participate in the SAFF tournament in October.