The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is planning to conduct a national training camp for the men’s national team in early September ahead of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar. The city is set to host India's home match against Qatar on October 8, which was postponed over the pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers group stage should have been over by now, but the Covid-19 outbreak has pushed it back by several months. With India’s remaining fixtures to be played in October-November later this year, the AIFF was planning to conduct a training camp in Europe, but that did not materialise. As per the latest reports, the AIFF is planning to start a camp in Bhubaneswar, the venue for India’s match against Qatar, in early September, with them waiting for a response from the Odisha government.
“With regards to the senior men’s team, our plan is to start the camp sometimes in early September. We want the camp in Bhubaneswar as the match against Qatar was scheduled there,” said Kushal Das, during a chat on AIFF TV.
“We’re in touch with the state government of Odisha as well as SAI. We are expecting to get a response from them. It’s a very tricky situation but we need to come up with the best possible solution given the circumstances,” added the official.
India is already out of contention for a spot in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, but they have a great chance of qualifying for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Igor Stimac’s boys is set to host heavyweights Qatar on October 8, following which they travel to Bangladesh for an away match in November. 12 India’s last match of the campaign against Afghanistan would be played in Kolkata on November 17.