India’s national football team coach Stephen Constantine, is angry his side have not been given permission to train at the majestic Azadi Stadium in Tehran, ahead of Thursday’s match with Iran in the 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The India national team landed in the Iranian capital yesterday and had two training sessions put in place. After Constantine allowed the Iran squad to train at their match venue in Bengaluru, he expected the same courtesy in return but was disappointed to find this was not so.
“When you extend courtesies, you would always like to be repaid, no matter what,” a dejected Constantine told aiff.com.
“But to our surprise we are being denied to train at the match venue (the Azadi Stadium) for two days. It was understandable that we would also be training at the match venue for two days simply because we had allowed the Iranian National Team to train at the venue for two days,” the disappointment was palpable in his voice.
It was a forty-five minute drive each way to the training ground from their hotel, situated on a busy street in the city.
Greeted by rain and the constant threat of thunder and lightning above the snow covered mountains, their training session elsewhere was a very cold one. With the temperature much colder than what they had left behind in Delhi, Constantine expressed this was something his squad will have to get accustomed to before the match.
The training session aside, Constantine was pleased with the treatment and catering of his Indian contingent.
We were received well at the airport and the transfer to the team hotel was smooth. My assistant coach (Lee Johnson) came here in advance and sorted everything out. The hotel is a decent one and we look forward to our sessions and the match,” said Constantine.