A 28-member India national squad will leave for Doha on Wednesday, are slated to play their remaining three matches in Group E of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, against Asian champions Qatar (June 3) and neighbours Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) at a centralized venue in Doha, Qatar.
As per the health parameters required to travel to Qatar, all the travelling players and staff carry with them negative test results from the RTPCR tests conducted in the last 48 hours. All of them were also in isolation in the capital under the bio bubble at the team hotel from May 15 onwards.
National coach Igor Stimac stated that although it is not the ‘ideal situation’ ahead of the June qualifiers, the Blue Tigers will be putting in ‘intense’ sessions before their matches get underway.
“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 got cancelled. The pandemic also robbed us of a friendly match in Dubai,” Stimac said.
“However, we understand the magnitude of the situation, and it will be intense sessions in Doha to raise the tempo and try to get ready for the matches which starts with the one against Asian Champions Qatar in Doha,” he added.
Among the 28 named, Glan Martins is the only one to feature in the national team camp for the first time.
Meanwhile, national team captain Sunil Chhetri expressed his relief to get back into the set-up. “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,” Sunil, who has 72 international goals to his name, opined.
The full national team squad travelling to Doha, Qatar is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh and Dheeraj Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra and Subhashish Bose.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri and Manvir Singh.
The fixtures for the Indian national team are as follows:
June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30 pm)
June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30 pm)
June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30 pm)