The players of the Indian football team are waiting for the results of the Covid-19 investigation to start the practice camp after reaching Doha for the qualification matches of the World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023. A 28-member Indian contingent arrived in Qatar from New Delhi on Wednesday night. According to a release from the All India Football Federation, “28 players and associate members of India have been placed on compulsory segregation till the results of the RT-PCR investigation in Doha.”
“After the investigation results, the team will start a practice camp to prepare for the matches.” Buoyed by the return of captain Sunil Chhetri, the team practiced inside the bio-bubble here ahead of their first match against host Qatar on June 3. The camp is to be attended. The other two matches of the team are against Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15).
Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, these matches will be played in Doha and are not being played in the original format of matches at home and on the other team’s ground. The Indian team is fourth in Group E with three points.
The team has dropped out of the race to qualify for the World Cup but there is still a possibility of making it to the 2023 Asian Cup. The AIFF thanked the Qatar Football Association (QFA) for allowing the team to come here long before the matches and hold a practice camp in Doha.
The QFA allowed Indians to start training by exempting them from 10-day tough segregation. AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said, “We are extremely grateful and thankful to the Qatar FA that they helped us start our camp in Qatar early by relaxing the rules.”
He said, “The Group E World Cup qualifier will be played from inside the safe bio bubble. We understand that there are some mandatory health protocols that we need to follow when we reach Doha. We will do it with dedication. “
The Indian team was scheduled to attend a practice camp in Kolkata from May 2 but was canceled due to rising cases of coronavirus in the country. The team was to play friendly in Dubai but that was also canceled.