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India in a race against time to prepare for World Cup qualifiers

India in a race against time to prepare for World Cup qualifiers

The Indian football team has little time to prepare for the remainder of their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers campaign. The AFC turned down the All Indian Football Federation’s request to postpone their remaining games to be played in Qatar.

The surge in coronavirus cases in India since April has been exponential. The footballing body struggling to find appropriate venues to host their World Cup qualifying matches. India is scheduled to play Qatar, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Indian football coach Igor Stimac has reportedly reached out to his players asking them to be ready for the challenge.

“We were asked whether we are fit for the assignment. If a player has family issues with regards to Covid situation, he will be excused” – Indian team players

India in a race against time to prepare for World Cup qualifiers

India suffering to find a practice ground

India was supposed to practice in Kolkata but couldn’t due to corona.

Though AIFF looked for other practice options in Goa, nothing could materialize meaning that the team is now looking to leave for Doha.

“Our plan was to travel straight to Doha on May 7 and train there. The idea was to minimize air travel and ensure we have enough time to prepare for the crucial games. We have not yet heard from the Qatar FA how soon we can arrive there. We are expecting a solution soon-AIFF official

If, for whatever reasons, the team cannot travel to Doha early, they will head to Dubai for a preparatory camp.

Failure to travel to Doha will see the Indian team leaving for Dubai to prepare while most of their opponents seem to be enjoying match rhythm. While the Qatari players are busy with the Emir Cup, some players from Afghanistan have already been playing in Europe’s lower leagues.

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