Indian team ‘finally’ land in Muscat

The Indian contingent which was left stranded in Turkmenistan Capital due to non arrival of the incoming flight courtesy bad weather was originally scheduled to board a 5.30pm flight on October 9 from Ashgabat.

The Indian team have lost all four of their qualifiers.   -  PTI

The Indian National Team landed safely at the Seeb International Airport in Muscat at 2 am on Sunday, a delay of over 26 hours from the scheduled time they were supposed to arrive.

The entire journey time, however, was much more. Putting together the waiting time at the Airport, going back to a Hotel from the Ashgabat Airport and coming back, waiting again at the Airport, the transit time in Dubai and the different time zones through which the Team travelled, it was almost 40 hours.

The Indian contingent which was left stranded in Turkmenistan Capital due to non arrival of the incoming flight courtesy bad weather was originally scheduled to board a 5.30pm flight on October 9 from Ashgabat. It eventually took off for Dubai the next day.

The entire development caused utter discomfort and the players looked visibly tired, a fact that worries national coach Stephen Constantine.

“We have already lost two precious days something which we can’t afford to do at the moment,” Constantine told Indian National Team, the Official Facebook Page of Indian Football.

“We had planned for four training sessions in Muscat for which we had an understanding with the Oman FA. But now we have to be content with a couple,” he mentioned @AIFFMedia, the Official Twitter handle of AIFF. “It’s been a long wait. Finally, we are here.”

In total, the Indian Team have been able to get six hours of training on the pitch for the two World Cup Qualifying matches against Turkmenistan and Oman respectively.

Constantine’s sentiments were echoed by Goalkeeper Subrata Paul. “We are not in a position where we can afford to lose practice sessions. We need to settle down fast,” he told www.the-aiff.com.

Defender Arnab Mondal preferred to look ahead. “We were helpless because the entire rescheduling happened due to the non arrival of the incoming flight, that too because of bad weather,” he stated.

“We need to focus on the next job. It’s hard when you have your practice sessions curtailed. Now we need to make the most out of what we have,” he added.

The Indian team have lost all four of their qualifying matches and are virtually out of contention to qualify for the next FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018.

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