Indian football team coach Igor Stimak thanked the Qatari government and its football association for allowing its players to train there before qualifying for the World Cup and the Asian Cup.
India is set to play Asian champions Qatar on June 3, Bangladesh on June 7 and Afghanistan on June 15, with all three matches to be played at Yassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.
“These are difficult times and there are a number of safety regulations that have been put in place that we are working on.
“I would like to thank the Qatari government for allowing us to train in Doha in such circumstances, and the Qatari federation for accepting us in such difficult times,” Stimak said.
“Qatar are the future hosts of the 2022 World Cup and we are aware that they have great facilities here for football teams,” added the coach.
Already outside the World Cup race, India will aim to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup in China.
Stimak is confident of good performance in the upcoming tasks in the Qatari capital.
“We don’t need to do anything extra to motivate them. They are all very good professionals and I have no problem lifting their spirits,” Stimak said.
“They are well aware of the situation and have shown full commitment on the training ground. I can assure you that they will do everything possible to do well on the pitch.”
India is facing a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Stimak said those dark times have made the Blue Tigers more determined in their endeavors.
“They are very aware of what is happening in India. So many families are suffering at the moment. We have a chance to make the people of India happy with our performance. We need to take this opportunity and bring back the smile on people’s faces,” said the coach.