Stimac to train his troops in Kolkata as part of preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers in June…
The next national camp of the Indian football team is set to be held in Kolkata in late April, Goal can reveal.
After a 1-1 draw against Oman and a chastening defeat against UAE, India coach Igor Stimac is ready to hit the training pitch once again to work on his troops and rectify the mistakes before the World Cup-Asian Cup joint qualifiers in June.
The national team had previously set their foot in Kolkata in 2019 when they hosted Bangladesh at the Salt Lake Stadium which ended in a 1-1 draw.
With the Indian top-tier domestic season finished, the players will get a break before they convene again for the training camp apart from those from Bengaluru FC. The Blues will take the field on April 14, to play their AFC Cup playoff match.
India are set to play their rest of the World Cup qualifying matches at a centralised venue in Qatar, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. They will restart their campaign by taking on Qatar on June 3, followed by locking horns against Bangladesh four days later. They will play their final group game against Afghanistan on June 15.
Before entering Qatar, Indian players and staff will need to get a negative Covid-19 certificate. However, on arrival in Qatar, the contingent will have to undergo another Covid-19 test and be in quarantine till the result is declared negative, which usually happens within 24 hours.
India are currently placed fourth in Group E with three points from five matches. Qatar top the table with 16 points while Oman are hot on their heels with 12 and a match in hand. India are virtually out of contention for the top two spots but a third-place finish is well within the reach of the Blue Tigers. That will book them a direct berth in the third round for the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers.