HomeSportsFootballThe Missed Opportunity: India Rejected Chance to Host Lionel Messi’s Argentina For...
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The Missed Opportunity: India Rejected Chance to Host Lionel Messi’s Argentina For Friendly

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF), which governs football in India, received a friendly match request from the Argentine Football Association, featuring Lionel Messi‘s Argentine team. Argentina, the reigning champions of the FIFA World Cup 2022, expressed interest in playing India, considering their strong fan base in Asian countries. However, due to budget limitations faced by the AIFF, they had to regretfully decline the request from the Argentine FA.

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As an alternative, Argentina organized a friendly match against Australia in Beijing, attracting a crowd of 55,000 passionate fans. During the match, Messi scored the fastest goal of his career, contributing to Argentina’s impressive 2-0 victory. Subsequently, Argentina secured another 2-0 win over Indonesia in a separate friendly match.

The secretary general of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has officially confirmed that the AIFF received a friendly match request from the reigning World Cup champions.

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The secretary general of the AIFF confirmed that the federation had indeed received a request for a friendly match from the World Cup champions- Argentina.

Prabhakaran was quoted as saying by TOI,

“The Argentina FA reached out to us for a friendly, but it was just not possible to arrange such huge sum,”

The AIFF secretary revealed further,

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“For such a match to happen here, we need backing of a strong partner. The kind of money that Argentina command is huge and we have limitations in terms of our economic situation in football.”

Argentina had initially planned to play two friendlies in June, with one scheduled for India and another for Bangladesh. However, both nations faced challenges in arranging the necessary funds within a short timeframe. Consequently, Argentina opted to play friendly matches against Australia and Indonesia instead.


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Nidhi Singh
Nidhi Singh
As quoted by M K Gandhi “learn as if you were to live forever”. This is the philosophy that she tries to live by. Learning new things is a passion that leads you to a school of upskills. Given her interest in writing, she pursued her dreams by taking a bachelor's degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from GGSIPU and received several accolades in academics. She is working as Senior Editor at KreedOn and loves challenges and completing multiple tasks within a stipulated timeline. She loves watching football and the credit goes to Lionel Messi. In her leisure time, she loves to paint her imagination.

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