The Indian football team is all set to travel to Qatar to play their remaining 2022 World Cup qualifying games. Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac announced the 28-member squad that will leave for Doha on Wednesday evening. FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, will begin from June 3.
Captain Chhetri expressed delight after returning to the national fold and expects three tough matches for the Blue Tigers.
“It’s such a relief to be back in the National team squad – after all, home is where the heart is. Personally, I am eagerly looking forward to being in Doha. The last time I was in Doha, I couldn’t be a part of the match against Qatar owing to illness.”
“The matches in June are extremely tough and we need to take them one at a time. Given the fact that we don’t have much time, the preparatory camp will add immense value helping all to gel together, and strike that chord ahead of the first match.” -Chhetri
All COVID-19 measures are taken seriously by the Gulf nation
They will assemble in Delhi and the players will have to produce two negative COVID-19 results before traveling to Doha.
The Qatar government has barred the quarantine stage for the Indian football team. The Indian team will have roughly two weeks to prepare before the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifying AIFF has urged the squad selected by Stimac to meet in Delhi and undergo the process of COVID-19 testing.
Only those who clear the COVID screening process will travel. For that, the Qatari authorities have agreed to issue a visa on arrival in case the players are unable to get the necessary clearance before their departure,”-AIFF officials
The Indian football team will have a preparatory camp inside a bio-bubble in Doha before its first match against hosts Qatar.
“It’s not an ideal situation as we move ahead to the Qualifiers in June. Due to the pandemic, our national camp, which was slated to begin in Kolkata at the beginning of May, had to be canceled. The pandemic also robbed us of a friendly match in Dubai,”-Stimac
Head coach Igor Stimac has made several changes to the squad that played in the international friendlies in UAE in March.
Goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, defenders Ashutosh Mehta, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mashoor Shereef, midfielders Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Halicharan Narzary and forward Hitesh Sharma have all missed out.
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