Team India is hoping to have an invitation to play in Copa America for the next edition after narrowly missing out on 2021 due to scheduled issues.
Recently, AIFF confirmed that India had a chance to play in Copa America 2021 which was re-scheduled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
AIFF general secretary Das told TOI, “There were two Asian teams, Qatar and Australia, invited for Copa America. Australia couldn’t make it due to various commitments. They actually then spoke to India and to CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation), who were excited to get India. They were very interested in having us play.”
Copa America is scheduled to be played in June. However, the Asian Football Federation (AFC) deferred the FIFA World Cup qualifiers from March-April to June. So, India had to decline the offer of playing in Copa America 2021.
“There were scheduling issues. The Copa America is in June and we were trying to see if the qualifiers could be played earlier in March/April. But it did not work out for some of the countries [in the group] like Bangladesh and Afghanistan”-Das added.
It could have been a great opportunity for the Blue Tigers to play alongside Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and some other American countries. India coach Igor Stimac revealed, “We were all really excited. There was a chance for us to go there, instead of Australia. This would have been a wonderful experience. In the future, hopefully, we will be invited.”
India now can only hope for the best in the next edition.