India’s national team, The Blue Tigers, will travel to Qatar next week to play the remaining 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The Indian national team will fly to Qatar next week to take part in some remaining fixtures.
Three fixtures of the World Cup Qualifiers are yet to kick-off, and the Blue Tigers will play them in Qatar.
The Blues Tigers are going to play against the hosts themselves, Qatar, on June 3. They then battle with Afghanistan on June 7 and with Bangladesh on June 11.
India are currently fourth on the points table. So, from the remaining fixtures, they will hope to collect as many points as needed to finish third.
This is because they want to seal an automatic qualification for themselves for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifying third round.
Blue Tigers Will Travel to Qatar Next Week
Though flying from India, where the density of cases is seeing a surge with the second coronavirus wave, the Indian team have a relatively hassle-free journey ahead.
Curiously, the players will not have to undergo a hard quarantine of 10 days on arrival in Qatar.
Instead, they can start training immediately, Goal can confirm.
However, the team will remain in a bio-secure bubble throughout their stay. They will also have to strictly follow the protocols as mandated by the organizers.
People from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, have special rules applied to them for international travel.
Whether they are travelling through direct flight or via other countries (transit), these travellers have to undertake the following measures:
- They need to get COVID-19 PCR Test 48 hours before their departure compulsorily. They can only travel to Qatar if they receive a negative test result from an approved centre.
- All people flying, directly or not, from the above-listed countries must undergo 10 days of quarantine.
- Travellers arriving from these countries must undergo a repeat COVID-19 PCR test.
(These rules have been summed up in layman terms, while Goal has the extensive version.)
India and Bangladesh Exempt?
However, the second rule has been relaxed for the Indian team. So, now, the Indian national team players will have to produce only a COVID-19 negative test result.
They must test negative before they convene at Delhi, in a 48-hour window.
Thereafter, another test will be conducted because a negative test result 48 hours before the journey to Doha is mandatory.
Deliberations between the AIFF (All India Football Federation) and Qatar Football Association (QFA) brought this laxation about. They negotiated in consultation with the Health Ministry of Qatar.
It may be that not just India, but Bangladesh too, may see a hard quarantine in Doha being waived off.