The two teams are scheduled to take on some of the toughest opponents in Asia and across the world in their respective competitions.
Indian U-16 as well as the Indian U-17 women’s football team will gather in Goa later this month to kick start their preparations for the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup respectively.
Sporting activities had stopped in the country due to coronavirus pandemic. However, the athletes who are scheduled to take part in Olympics or Olympic Qualifiers next year have started their training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complexes across the country. Now, the junior football team is all set to resume their training too but they’ll need to undergo mandatory COVID-19 tests and quarantine themselves at the AIFF facility in Fatorda, Goa.
The AIFF is eager to get both Indian football teams back on track as both the tournaments approaches near and they’ve found Goa as the best alternative in the given circumstances following relaxations in guidelines in Goa.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das spoke to The Times of India on this matter and said, “We have got some guidelines from the Sports Department in Goa which says the players can be tested. If found negative, they can start training. There will be a natural process of quarantine when they reach Goa before the camp begins.”
AIFF initially wanted the camp for the U-17 girls to be started from July 20th but the date could be pushed ahead as they attempt to get all the players together in Goa.
“We are still awaiting SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). There is also an issue with the players’ travel that needs to be managed. Taking everything into account, I don’t think we will be able to start the camp as scheduled,” Das further added.
Thomas Dennerby, the U-17 women’s team head coach, who is in Sweden, will miss the first part of the training. The U-17 Women’s World Cup will start from February next year whereas the U-16 Championship is scheduled in September this year.