COVID-19 Impact: Swedish Govt to fly India U-17 women’s coach home

Thomas Dennerby, who had guided the Swedish women’s team to a third-place finish in the 2011 World Cup, will leave for his home from Goa on Wednesday.

Thomas Dennerby

Thomas Dennerby, 60, was appointed as India's head coach in November last year.   -  AFP

Indian women's U-17 coach Thomas Dennerby will leave for his home from Goa on Wednesday as the training of the players have been stopped due to the 21-day lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dennerby and compatriot fitness coach Per Karlsson will fly back home on a flight arranged by the Swedish government for their citizens in India.

“Yes, head coach Dennerby is leaving for his home in Sweden tomorrow. There is no training now and the players have left for their homes,” All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das told PTI on Tuesday.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will be played in five venues in India from November 2 to 21.

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The experienced 60-year-old Dennerby was appointed as the head coach of the team in November last year. He had guided the Swedish national team to a third-place finish in the Women’s World Cup in Germany in 2011 and a quarterfinal spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

Dennerby also had a stint with the Nigerian senior women’s team during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. He also coached the side to the AWCON title in 2018.

Asked when Dennerby is likely to return to India, Das said, “He will come back once he is able to train the players.”

The 21-day lockdown began from March 25 with the country banning international commercial flights starting March 22. It will continue till April 14.

Das had earlier said the AIFF remained hopeful of staging of the women’s age group FIFA showpiece despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing cancellation and postponement of sporting events throughout the world.