Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac feels that they are far away from ideal preparations ahead of World Cup Qualifiers. The Blue Tigers will be up against Qatar in their opening fixture on June 3, followed by their matches against Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15).
The Qatari government were generous enough to exempt India from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers, but fresh problems seem to have surfaced. Indian football coach Igor Stimac, however, informed that the conditions in the Gulf nation are not great and they are far away from ideal preparations ahead of their all-important fixtures.
The Croat complained regarding the facilities provided by the hosts, with the players not allowed to use a gym, while they were also forced to train in the corridor in front of their hotel rooms. The visitors are also depending on delivery food and the team has not been allotted a meeting hall to discuss strategies and plan of action.
"I didn't expect this. I expected as a coach that we're going to have a possibility of using the gym. We are doing our morning sessions in the hall in front of our rooms, and our players are eating delivery food, which is left in front of our rooms. That's not proper preparation for football players, I'm quite sure that the Qatari team is not in the same position,” said Igor Stimac, during a virtual press conference.
"We were tested three times already, all the tests are negative. Why we don't have a proper meeting hall, so we can discuss and analyse our opponents, why we don't have a possibility of spending more time together, eating together. Instead of that, we have one chance going out in the evenings for the training session, that's all,” added the 1998 World Cupper.
Fumed at the reception, Stimac went on to say that the preparations are far from ideal ahead of their all-important fixtures. The Blue Tigers will be up against Qatar on June 3, followed by their game against Bangladesh on June 7. The Sunil Chhetri-led side will play their last match against Afghanistan on June 15.
"If I knew that everything will be like it is today, I would never accept to be honest. We could organise such games in such a way in India also. At the end we lost possibility of playing two home games,” informed the Croat.
“Here we are now, not in great conditions. This is far away from a proper preparation for the World Cup qualifiers, but it is what it is. This is not a proper football work which needs to be obtained before the World Cup qualifiers.”