The Blue Tigers will take on the hosts, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in June.
The Indian football team landed safely at the Hamad International Airport Doha late evening yesterday (May 19, 2021) for their three forthcoming matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers. The games are slated to be played from June 3 onwards.
The 28 players and the support staff are in compulsory quarantine. They will remain so till they receive the test results of the RT-PCR tests conducted upon arrival in Doha. Thereafter, the squad will kick-off their preparatory camp as part of their preparation for the matches.
On Thursday, the AIFF said that they would like to put on record its gratitude to the Qatar Football Federation. The federation thanked the Qatar FA 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 said.
“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. Soon after, they waived off the 10-day quarantine period,” he further informed.
What happened so far
The AIFF had originally planned a preparatory camp in Kolkata from May 2 onwards. Later, the second wave of the covid pandemic forced a cancellation of these plans. The Blue Tigers had also scheduled a friendly match behind closed doors in Dubai as part of the preparations, but they had to cancel that as well following the situation.
The 28-member squad along with the support staff flew out from New Delhi. At the capital city, 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, will play Asian Champions Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 7, and Afghanistan on June 15. All the three matches will be held at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha.
The Indian football team has already had a camp earlier this year in Dubai. This was after the completion of the domestic season. Afterwards, they also participated in two FIFA International Friendlies against Oman and UAE.
India’s fixtures at FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers
India vs Qatar (IST 10.30pm), on June 3
Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30pm), on June 7
India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30pm), on June 15