CHENNAI : The Indian football team got down to business on Friday evening as the players had their first training session in Doha, Qatar, ahead of three crucial qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup. Having assembled in New Delhi on May 15 and quarantined for a few days, the players flew to Qatar from the national capital on Wednesday evening. On arrival, all the players and coaching staff were tested for Covid-19 and they returned negative RT-PCR tests.
It allowed them to assemble for their first training session in Doha without hassle. With India taking on Qatar on June 3, followed by matches against Bangladesh and Af- ghanistan on June 7 and 15 respectively, it is imperative that the Indian players make best use of the two-week preparatory camp that has been arranged.
The Indian players have been exempted from a 10-day hard quarantine in Doha, enabling them to begin preparations immediately. India are currently fourth in Group E with just three points. While progress to the next round of World Cup qualification is out of reach, they will hope to get favourable results against Bangladesh and Afghanistan and qualify for the third round of Asian Cup qualification.