Stimac rueful of Qatar’s quarantine set-up

Kolkata, May 28

Livid with the strict quarantine arrangements in Qatar, Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac today said their preparation is “far from being ideal” for the upcoming World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifiers. Already out of contention for a World Cup berth, India will face Asian champions Qatar on June 3 before taking on Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) in their remaining Group E matches, with an aim to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup in China. The Sunil Chhetri-led Blue Tigers, originally slated to reach Qatar on May 30, advanced their arrival to May 19. As per rules, they are not allowed to train in gym, use the meeting hall or even eat together. “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 way in India also. At the end we lost possibility of playing two home games,” Stimac told reporters during a virtual interaction. “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.” Meanwhile, Stimac’s tenure was today extended till September by All India Football Federation’s technical committee, which appointed Savio Medeira as interim technical director in place of the outgoing Isac Doru. PTI

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