The Indian national football team led by talismanic Sunil Chhetri reached Qatar on late Wednesday evening for India’s three forthcoming matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, slated to be played from June 3 onwards.
The 28 players and the support staff are now in compulsory quarantine till they receive the test results of the RT-PCR tests conducted upon arrival in Doha. The squad will thereafter be allowed to kick off their preparatory camp as part of their preparation for the matches.
The AIFF thanked the Qatar Football Federation 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 to upon arrival in Doha, which we will with complete diligence," AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said in an official release.
“The AIFF President Praful Patel had detailed chats with the President of the Qatar FA who raised our concern with the Prime Minister’s Office, after which the 10-day quarantine period was waived off," he added.
The preparatory camp was originally slated to happen in Kolkata from May 2 onwards till the second wave of the covid pandemic forced a cancellation. The Blue Tigers also had a scheduled friendly match behind closed doors in Dubai as part of the preparation, but even that had to be cancelled.
India is currently on 3 points from 5 matches in Group E and is scheduled to play Asian Champions Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 7, and Afghanistan on June 15 with all three matches to be played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha.
June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30pm).
June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30pm).
June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30pm).