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Football team to fly to Qatar on May 19
The India team will leave for Qatar on May 19 as the gulf country accepted All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) request to allow its players to train there ahead of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers next month.
Not only that, Qatar has even agreed to the AIFF’s request to waive the mandatory 10-day hard quarantine after reaching there. The players will have a camp for nearly two weeks in a bio-bubble before the first match on June 3.
“We are planning to fly the team on May 19. There will be no quarantine for the players and they will be in a bio-bubble,” AIFF secretary Kushal Das told PTI on Saturday. Kushal said that the players would assemble in New Delhi and added that they would be tested for COVID-19 before their departure to Qatar.
India is out of reckoning for a 2022 FIFA World Cup berth, but is in contention for a 2023 Asian Cup spot in the joint qualifiers. The Igor Stimac-coached team is fourth in the group standings with three points from five matches.
The remaining three group games – against Qatar (June 3), Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) – are crucial for Asian Cup qualification. Qatar was picked by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in March as the centralised venue to host the remaining Group E matches owing to coronavirus-related travel and quarantine restrictions.
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