The Indian men’s U16 team and the women’s U17 team will assemble in Goa for their respective training camps later this month, following Covid-19 tests and quarantine. The decision has been taken after the state relaxed lockdown guidelines, with Goa also aiming to host the 2020-21 ISL.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was already looking for a favourable location to host training camps for the women’s U17 team, with them set to feature at the FIFA U17 World Cup that takes place in India next year. Meanwhile, the boys also have an assignment on hand - AFC U16 Championships later this year in Bahrain. Finally, after months devoid of action, the respective teams would be undergoing camps in Goa, only after medical tests and quarantine are complete, with the state relaxing the Covid-19 lockdown measures.
“We got some guidelines from the sports department in Goa which says the players can be tested, and if found negative, they can start training. There will be the natural process of quarantine when they reach Goa before the camp begins,” said Kushal Das, AIFF general secretary, to The Times of India.
Even though the camp is likely to begin soon, the AIFF are yet to finalise a date yet with them still awaiting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) from the government, while the player’s travels also have to be arranged. Meanwhile, Thomas Dennerby, the women's U17 team head coach who is back in Sweden, will miss the initial stages of the camp.
“We are still awaiting the exact SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). There is also the issue of the player's travel that needs to be managed. Taking everything into account, I don’t think we will be able to start the camp as scheduled,” added the official.