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Sunil Chhetri-led Indian football team reaches Doha for World Cup qualifiers

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The Indian National Team landed safely at the Hamad International Airport Doha late evening yesterday (May 19, 2021) for India’s three forthcoming matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, slated to be played from June 3 onwards.

The 28 players and the support staff are in compulsory quarantine till they receive the test results of the conducted RTPCR tests in Doha. The squad will thereafter, be allowed to kick-off their preparatory camp as part of their preparation for the matches.

The AIFF would like to put on record its gratitude to the Qatar Football Federation for their help, cooperation and understanding in helping the Blue Tigers to assemble in Doha and start the camp, all in an effort to take football forward together.

“We are extremely grateful and thankful to the Qatar FA for the manner they went out of the way and helped us begin our camp in Qatar early.

“The Group E World Cup Qualifiers will be played from inside a secure bio bubble. We understand that there are certain mandatory health parameters which we need to adhere upon arrival in Doha, which we will with complete diligence,” AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das averred.

“The AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel had detailed chats with the President of the Qatar FA who raised our concern with the Prime Minister’s Office, after which the 10-day quarantine period was waived off,” Mr. Das informed.

The preparatory camp was originally slated to happen in Kolkata from May 2 onwards till the second wave of the covid pandemic forced a cancellation. The Blue Tigers also had a scheduled friendly match behind closed doors in Dubai as part of the preparation, but even that had to be cancelled.

The 28-member squad along with the support staff flew out from New Delhi wherein they were in a compulsory isolation upon their arrival from their respective hometowns from May 15 onwards. The entire contingent had arrived in the Capital with mandatory negative RTPCR test results, and had undergone another RTPCR test prior to flying off to Doha.

India who are currently on 3 points from 5 matches in Group E are scheduled to play Asian Champions Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 7, and Afghanistan on June 15 with all three matches to be played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha.

The round of matches is being played in Doha in view of the COVID pandemic situation which doesn’t allow the original format of home and away matches. India are currently on 3 points from 3 matches in Group E.

The Senior National Team has already had a camp earlier this year in Dubai, after the completion of the domestic season, following which, they participated in two FIFA International Friendlies against Oman and UAE.

India’s fixtures:

June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30pm).

June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30pm).

June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30pm).

The 28-member squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh.

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Apuia, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan.

Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.

Featured photo: AIFF







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