India's remaining World Cup qualifiers get provisional dates from AFC
- India could be back in action as early as October going by AFC's proposed dates.
- However, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports hasn't allowed sporting competitions in the country to resume yet.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced provisional dates for the remaining matchdays of the second round of FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers after it had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Going by the tentative fixtures, the India is likely to face Qatar on October 8th, whereas the matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan are due to kick off on November 12th and 17th, respectively.
However, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports hasn't allowed sporting competitions in the country to resume yet. India is set to host Qatar and Afghanistan and are set for an away trip to Bangladesh.
AFC, too, said in its press release that they will closely monitor the situation and "notify all parties should there be a need to reassess the match schedules." The apex continental body wants to finish the second round of preliminary joint qualification by November 2020.
Footballing activity in India has stopped since the government has imposed a nationwide lockdown. The ISL finals had to be played behind closed doors whereas the I-League and other youth leagues in the country had to be halted midway.
India coach Igor Stimac called as many as 43 players from various ISL clubs for the now-cancelled fixture against Qatar. The Blue Tigers were also slated to face Tajikistan in an international friendly match away from home before flying off to Turkey and Croatia for a series of friendly matches in April and May.
India opponent Qatar announces summer training camp
The leaders of India's group in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers- Qatar- have announced a 21-day summer training camp of 34 players, which is set to begin on June 12. India held the 2019 AFC Asian Cup winners to a goalless draw the last time these two sides met in Doha.
India sits at the fourth spot in the points table with 3 points from 5 matches behind Qatar, Oman, and Afghanistan. Their hopes to reach the third round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers will get dashed if Oman pick up a single point from their remaining three matches.Published 05 Jun 2020, 22:28 IST