Chhetri returns as Indian football team leaves for Doha for WC Qualifiers
New Delhi: Talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri made a return after recovering from COVID-19 infection as a 28-member Indian football squad leaves for Doha on Wednesday evening for the three upcoming joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers.
The team will have a preparatory camp inside a bio-bubble in Doha before its first match on June 3 against hosts Qatar.
After missing the two international friendly matches against Oman and the UAE in March, Chhetri is set to feature in the forthcoming games.
As per the health parameters required to travel to Qatar, all the players and staff will carry with them negative results from the RT-PCR COVID-19 tests conducted in the last 48 hours.
Prior to their departure, all of them were serving quarantine in the national capital since May 15.
Head 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 during the camp 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 had to get cancelled.
“The pandemic also robbed us of a friendly match in Dubai,” Stimac said.