World Cup Qualifiers: Guwahati, Kolkata set to host matches
by Shubham Sharma
New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has chosen Guwahati and Kolkata as the venues to host Indian football team's first two home games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
India will be their first two home games against Oman and Bangladesh respectively.
India will play against Oman on September 5th at Guwahati. Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Stadium, also known as Sarujsarai Stadium will host the game. The stadium is also home to Indian Super League (ISL) side NorthEast United FC.
India will then play host to Bangladesh at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium, also home to ISL side ATK and I-league outfits Quess East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The match at the 'Mecca of Indian football' will be played on 15th of October.
This is after a long gap that the team will return to the Eastern side of the country.
India played last at Guwahati back in March 2015, when they hosted Nepal in the previous qualifiers. India back then defeated Nepal by 2-0 courtesy a brace from Sunil Chhetri. The last time Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan hosted India was back in November 2011, when the hosts managed a 3-2 win over Malaysia in an international friendly.
India has been grouped in Group E of the qualifiers round 2 alongside Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.