By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, Sep 25 (IANS) The Croatian Football Federation (CFF) on Wednesday said that it is too early to talk about a possible friendly against the Indian team, but confirmed they met the Indian delegation at their headquarters last week.
“I can confirm that our top management welcomed a delegation from India on Sunday,” CFF media officer Tomislav Pacak told IANS. “We can’t talk about specific details of the meeting, and we can’t comment on any discussions regarding possible friendly matches. Croatian Football Federation announces all its friendly agreements on the official website, and before that, we don’t comment on any possible negotiation regarding friendly matches,” he said.
On Sunday, CFF president Davor Suker and CEO Marijan Kustic hosted All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das and Director of the National Team Abhishek Yadav.
India’s Croatian head coach Igor Stimac was also present on the premises of the Croatian Football Federation.
“The possibility of technical support from the CFF to Indian colleagues was discussed to support the development of football in the second most populous country in the world,” a statement on their website read.
“On that occasion, gifts were also presented, including jerseys of current world contributions — with a reminder of winning the World Bronze in France in ’98, when the Fire was led by precisely the top scorer of the Suker and one of the pillars of the Stimac defense.”
“It is too early to talk about playing Croatia in a friendly. But it was a fruitful meeting and we would like to get technical support from them,” a top AIFF official said.
The CFF delegation along with Suker — Golden Boot winner at the 1998 World Cup — are likely to visit India in November for advanced talks of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Croatia reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, losing out to France. India, meanwhile, held reigning Asian champions Qatar in their last World Cup qualifier. The Sunil Chhetri-led side take on Bangladesh in another qualifier at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on October 15.
(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)