Weather poses threat to India's home match

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Chennai, Oct 26: Following the successful hosting of four Pre-Olympic matches, three for men and one for women here, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has allotted the second leg of the Cup qualifies match between India and Lebanon in the Asian Zone preliminary competition for 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, to be held here on October 28, to Tamil Nadu.

However, the onset of the North East monsoon, bringing with it heavy rains, was acting as a dampener and intervening in the work to get the turf at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium fit. ''We are hoping that rain would not play spoilsport'', AIFF Vice-President and host Tamil Nadu Football Association President C R Visswanathan and Secretary T Govindarajan said , announcing details of the match.

The home match for India, after her loss in the away match in Lebanon, was scheduled to be played under floodlights from 1830 hrs and the local organising committee was expecting a good turnout on Sunday.

While the Lebanese team had arrived, members of the Indian team would be arriving here from their camp in Goa in the evening, Visswanathan added.

Chennai would be staging a pre-World Cup match for the first time.

Forty three teams were in the fray in the Asian Zone preliminary competition. While Lebanon was ranked 13, India had been ranked 28, by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which had announced the seedings and the qualification process for Asian teams for the main competition of the world cup.

A win with a 3-0 margin, after the 1-4 loss in the away match would enable India to qualify for the second round. While the teams ranked 1-5 get a bye to round 3, those from 6-24 were chosen by draw and play a home and away knock out round.

UNI

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