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Indian football team reaches Doha for qualifiers

New Delhi, May 20 (UNI) The Indian football team has reached Doha safely for their three forthcoming matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, slated to be played from June 3.

The 28 players and the support staff, landed at the Hamad International Airport, Doha on Wednesday evening. They will remain in compulsory quarantine till they receive the test results of the conducted RTPCR tests in Doha.

The squad will thereafter, be allowed to kick off their preparatory camp as part of their preparation for the matches.

The AIFF on Thursday thanked the Qatar Football Federation for their help, cooperation, and understanding in helping the Blue Tigers to assemble in Doha and start the camp.

“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,” said AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das.

”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, 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.

However, they had a camp earlier this year in Dubai, after the completion of the domestic season, following which, they participated in two FIFA International Friendlies against Oman and UAE.

India who are currently on 3 points from 5 matches in Group E are 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.

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