AIFF postpone India Camp for AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has postponed the preparatory camp for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup. Originally, the camp was to begin from August 12 in Bhubaneshwar, it is now rescheduled to begin from August 20.

The change in response came in because of the decision by the club to not send the players due to ongoing commitments, including the Durand Cup and feedback received from the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs. The AIFF have sought a window of discussion between the federation, Head Coach Igor Stimac and all the ISL coaches in a bid to convince clubs to release the players. The virtual meeting was to take place on Tuesday evening. But due to the unavailability of some ISL coaches, the meeting is set to be held on a later date.

Igor Stimac had posted on social media platforms about his plea to release the players for the camp which received mixed responses from the clubs and their coaches. The clubs argued that these concerns are addressed through private and comprehensive dialogue.

Statement by AIFF for camp

The Secretary General of the AIFF, Shaji Prabhakaran in the letter sent to the clubs for the camp wrote,

“With the ongoing Durand Cup, and based on the responses from the ISL Clubs, we have postponed the India U-23 camp to August 20 from August 12. The list of players remains the same.”

Statement by Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac in one of his interviews with TOI quoted,

“I am expecting really good responses from the ISL coaches. They all understand how important it is for the coach to have enough time (for preparations). They have been great for the last four years.

Now we have to find a way where we cannot also hurt the calendar which they are trying to implement. It’s really challenging,” he added.

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