Mumbai: The 28-member Indian football team which landed in Doha early this week began their training as they were all tested negative of COVID-19, according to the the All Indian Football Federation.
This is ahead of their joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup next month.
The team, was under compulsory quarantine and waiting for the results of their RT-PCR tests before starting their preparatory camp. Although the team is out of the race in this league, they will get the exposure at the international level.
"Yes, all the 28 players and support staff tested negative in the tests done after their arrival," according to AIFF official.
With the return of their skipper Sunil Chhetri, they begin their preparatory camp inside a bio-bubble here before its first match on June 3 against hosts Qatar followed by the tie against Bangladesh (June 7) and sign off their assignment on June 15 after their encounter against Afghanistan.
Through the good offices of Qatar Football Association, a 10-day hard quarantine was waived off for the Indians and they began training as soon as they got the COVID-19 negative results
"Gearing-up for the challenges ahead. The #BlueTigers had their training first training session in Doha, Qatar last night," the AIFF said in a tweet, along with pictures of training of players under head coach Igor Stimac.
The Indian team, fourth in Group E with three points, is already out of contention for a World Cup berth but is still in the reckoning for the 2023 Asian Cup in China.
The Indian players were to have a national camp in Kolkata from May 2 onwards but the raging pandemic in the country led to its cancellation.