Women’s U-17 World Cup football camp from October 15

India's U-17 women’s World Cup probables team will begin training in Jharkhand from October 15.

India U-17 Girls Team

The India U-17 women's team will regroup for the first time since March, when the camp has halted due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. (File Image)   -  AIFF MEDIA

India's U-17 women’s World Cup probables team will begin training in Jharkhand from October 15, All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das said on Wednesday.

The U-17 women’s World Cup to be held in India, originally scheduled for November, was postponed to February-March next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were planning to start the U-17 World Cup camp in the first week of October but now it will be by 15th October,” Das told PTI.

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The AIFF was initially looking to hold the camp in August but could not do so due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The camp has been allocated to Jharkhand as the state’s Chief Minister Hemant Soren was keen on organising it. The India U-17 World Cup probables camp has eight players from Jharkhand. The CM has assured full support to the girls and had also met the players from his state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U-17 women’s team’s preparations will be the sole focus this year as the men's team has no matches owing to the postponement of the FIFA World Cup Asian Cup Qualifying matches and also the postponement of the AFC U-16 championship.

The federation is looking to organise exposure trips for the team in November and December.

“Now that the U-16 AFC championship has been postponed and the senior team is also not paying any matches, the focus is primarily on the women’s U-17 World Cup team,” the general secretary said.

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The Indian U-17 women's team will play all its group stage matches of the tournament at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, whille Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Mumbai are the four other host cities.

- SOP for I-League in the works -

Meanwhile, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar has conducted a recce of the stadiums, hotels and training grounds in Kolkata, which will be hosting the upcoming I-League and second division qualifying matches.

The Salt Lake Stadium, the grounds in Kalyani, Barasat and Howrah will be hosting the matches.

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Das said the federation was in the process of framing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for conducting its league matches amid the pandemic.

“Hopefully, in the next few days we will have the full SOP,” Das said.

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