AIFF, Stimac issue clarification about comments on Qatar quarantine conditions

The statements from the AIFF and Igor Stimac come after the latter expressed his frustrations over the nature of the team’s stay in Doha, Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Igor Stimac, the head coach of the Indian men's team earlier spoke about the travelling contingent is forced to a life on the floor of its hotel, a banquet hall and the training ground.   -  AP

A day after the Indian men's football team coach Igor Stimac expressed unhappiness over the quarantine-like conditions imposed on the team in Doha, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has released the following statement.

"The team management including the players, the head coach, the support staff along with the AIFF are grateful to the Qatar FA for their cooperation in their quest to help the Blue Tigers prepare for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers slated in June. Their support has encouraged us to put our best foot forward," the AIFF stated. 

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Stimac issued a clarification, adding, "There has been some misleading media narration over our team’s preparation in Doha wherein my comments have been misinterpreted. From a personal and professional standpoint, myself, my team including all the players are extremely grateful to the Qatar FA for their cooperation in their quest to help us prepare for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers slated in June. In fact, without their help, our preparatory camp may not have kicked off at all.

"The current pandemic situation is an unfortunate one, and there are certain health parameters which everyone needs to adhere to. Under such circumstances, we need to be extra careful and follow the social and health guidelines set in Qatar which the entire squad is catering to.

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"We are looking forward to the Qualifiers in June, and the boys are keen to put up a good show, all in an effort to bring some hope and smiles to the people back home in India."

While the World Cup qualification is out of reach, India could still advance to the Asian Cup. Stimac's men are currently placed fourth in Group E, a point behind Afghanistan.

India resumes its qualifiers against host Qatar on June 3 in Doha, followed by matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan. 

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