The match has been cancelled by the AIFF due to unforeseen reasons.

Read below for more.


Waterford, St.Michael, Barbados
18th Aug, 2011 – 4:30 am IST

The Indian National football team left the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on Saturday, after the federation had postponed their departure, alarmed over the safety of the players, as the squad was supposed to stay overnight in London, which was alas clouded by riots. The Blue Tigers are scheduled to play three International friendlies in the Caribbean. The team kick starts their Calypso series against Barbados on 17th August at Waterford in Barbados. On August 21st, the team is scheduled to play against Guyana and three days later the fans could get a chance to cheer team India in Trinidad as they take on the home side at Hasely Crawford Stadium. TheHardTackle takes a look at both the teams for the series opener, analyses their style of play, recent form, strategy and tactics.



Popularly known as the Bajan Tridents, Barbados national football team is all set to lock horns against the Men in Blue on Wednesday in the series opener. Eyre Sealy, the Barbados Chief Coach, reckons the match against India will be a great challenge and a learning opportunity for the youngsters ahead of their CONCACAF zone World Cup Qualifier against Guyana scheduled to be played on 2nd September. Barbados is drawn in Group-B of CONCACAF alongside Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Bermuda.

Eyre Sealy has been managing the side for close to 4 years and is a highly respected tactician in the Caribbean circle. More often then not he has deployed a 4-4-2 formation while playing against other island nations of the West Indies, although occasionally they do line-up in a more attacking 4-3-3 strategy.

Alvin Rouse is the undisputed no 1 for the Barbados team and his presence under the bar will prove to be inspirational for Bryan Neblett-led four-men Barbados defense. Veteran midfielder Norman Forde plays the role of the play-maker to perfection and he is the prime source for delivering defense-splitting through-balls to the striking duo of Jon Nurse-Riviere Williams. Jon Nurse is the most high profile player in the Barbados squad, who plies his trade for English League 1 side Dagenham & Redbridge. Gourmangi Singh led Indian defenders will have to be on their toes to restrict this talented striker.



After the ambitious display of character at the Ambedkar Stadium against a disciplined UAE side, where the Indian team might have bowed out of the World cup qualification contention, but only after winning thousands of hearts, as the team fought their way back into the match and shared the honors with a much superior side. Indian fans still debate and rue the 3-0 loss in the first leg in Dubai which led to almost a dead rubber at Delhi, more so after the visitors had taken the lead.

There is no denial of the fact that Indian team was looking good and the difference in the style of play was quite obvious, from what the fans were used to observe earlier under Bob Houghton. In both the legs, the men in blue  stuck to possession football and used the long ball occasionally.

The team is now slated to play three matches against much higher ranked teams in the Caribbean, away from home. This is certainly another positive step taken by the federation to provide more exposure to the young team, which seems to gel quickly under Armando and Savio Mediara. The team takes on Barbados on Wednesday in the tour opener.

Initially, it was feared that many of the top notch regular starters would not be able to board the plane to the West Indies after many of the I-league clubs refused to release their players, fearing injuries and lack of practice with the team , before the Federation Cup and I-league kicks off in India. AIFF had to bend its back to get the players released and are now seeking FIFA’s help to get rid of such issues in future. Here is the final 23 member Indian squad on tour:

Sunil Chettri - Man to watch out !


Goalkeepers: Subrata Pal, Karanjit Singh, Laxmikant Kattimani.

Defenders:Raju Gaikwad, GourmangiSingh, Valeriano Rebello, MaheshGawli, Samir Naik, DebabrataRoy, Rowilson Rodrigues, Robert Lalthalmuana.

Midfielfders: Rahim Nabi, Climax Lawrence, Steven Dias, Lalrindika Ralte, Peter Carvalho, Clifford Miranda,  Rocus Lamare, Mehtab Hosain.

Forwards: Jeje Lalpeklua, Sunil Chhetri, S Sabeeth, Sushil Singh.

Once again we can expect to see the overlapping runs of Debabrata Roy and veteran Samir Naik from the flanks, exchanging neat passes with wingers Steven Dias, and Syed Rahim Nabi. After his impressive performance in the last game, Lalrindika Ralte might be used as a super sub in the second half. Mehtab Hussain, who impressed all with his typical double engine performances, is once again expected to start alongside Dempo man Climax Lawrence at the heart of midfield. However the delayed arrival of the Bengal duo Mehtab and Nabi because of Visa related issues means that they could hardly acclimatized themselves with the conditions here at Barbados and this may force Armando to tinker with the starting formation a bit.

Indian strike force upfront comprises of usual suspects – Sunil Chettri, Pune FC prodigy Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sushil Singh and CS Sabeeth. Sunil and Jeje will pair up again to shoulder the scoring responsibilities for team India. East Bengal striker Baljit Sahni is one of the few notable absentees from the World cup qualifier squad. The strikers will surely have their work cut out as they would be up against a physically stronger St. Kitts-Nevis defenders.

Armando Colaco could also start with the experinced Mahesh Gawli at the back. Rocus Lamare, the young energetic midfielder from the I-league champions Salgaocer could also be tested in tough away conditions. Team Colaco-Savio would be keeping a close eye on the new players in the squad , and would certainly give a few of them chances to make a difference on the tour. CS Sabeeth, the lanky striker was so instrumental in Viva Kerala’s aim to avoid the drop last season, would also turn up on the field to prove a point to his critics.

Expected Line-Up: Subrata Pal, Samir Naik, Raju Gaekwad, Gouramangi Singh, Debabrata Roy, Steven Dias, Climax Lawrence, Mehtab Hussain, Syed Rahim Nabi, Sunil Chettri, Jeje Lalpekhlua.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this tour could help India improve it’s dismal ranking, if the Bhangra Boys can churn out some good results. Armando Colaco is certainly relishing the challenge as it would put his lads up against a stern test and would be hoping that Indians do justice to the tour in terms of learning and growing as a team.

On the other hand Lester Morris would be hoping to test his side before the big WC Qualifier matches starting from 2nd September against Peurto Rico at Home. As indians back home prepare themselves for the Argentina vs Venezuela showdown on the collossal platform, team India would certainly be looking forward to showcase the much talked about ripple effect.

Update on the AIFF official website:

Unforeseen circumstances force cancellation
( Source: )

Due to some unfortunate logistical reasons caused by the sudden change in the travel schedule because of the problems in London, India’s First International Friendly against Barbados in +One India Caribbean Tour 2011 stands cancelled to avoid undue physical strain and hardship to the players after their long flight.

The National Coach after consultation with the All India Football Federation General Secretary, the National Team Director and the Barbados Football Association decided under the circumstances that the match may result in un-necessary injuries or health problems for the players.

The AIFF is very conscious that players should not get injured prior to the beginning of the new domestic season and therefore in the best interest of the players and the clubs, found it prudent to cancel the match against Barbados.

The next two matches against Trinidad & Tobago (August 21, 2011) and Guyana (August 24, 2011) would be played as per scheduled.

The AIFF thanks the Barbados Football Association for their understanding and help provided despite the unforeseen circumstances.