We are far from ideal preparation: Igor Stimac

A part of Qatar’s strict quarantine, Indian football team coach Igor Stimac said on Friday that their preparation for the upcoming World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers is “far from ideal.”

Indeed, India will face Asian Qatari Champion Qatar on June 3 before competing in its remaining group E matches against Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) with the goal of qualifying for the Asian Cup in China for 2023.

The Blue Tiger of Sunil Chhetri, originally scheduled to arrive in Qatar on 30 May, moved to 19 May. According to strict quarantine, gymnastics, the meeting room is not permitted or even eats together

“I’d never accept to be honest if I know it’s going to be as it is today. Such games could also be organized in India. At the end, we lost the chance to play two home games,” Stimac said during a virtual interaction with reporters.

“Now we are here, not in great circumstances. This is not a good preparation for the qualifiers for the World Cup, but this is what it is. This is not the right football work to be done before the qualifications of the World Cup.”

“I am well aware that Qatar is the future hosts of the World Cup and all of us know about the great facilities of football teams,” Stimac continued frustrated by these arrangements.

“But I expected much more of this organization personally as a coach. I know that because of the pandemic, we have changed all our plans. I’m very grateful to the Government of Qatar for letting us get over here.”

The 53-year-old Croatian World Cupper has said that Indian actors are obliged, in the current circumstances, to practice in the corridor, opposite their rooms.

“I did not expect this.”I did not expect this. As a coach, I expected we would be able to use the gym.

“Our morning sittings are held in the hall opposite our rooms and our players eat delivery food left in front of us.

“It’s not good preparation for a soccer player and I am pretty sure the team from Qatar isn’t the same.” Despite being tested three times negatively by COVID-19, Stimac said they have to do all that.

“Three times we have already been tested, all the tests are bad. Why we don’t have the correct meeting room, so we can talk about and analyze our opponents, why we can’t spend more time together, eat together.

“Instead, we get an opportunity to go out for the training session in the evenings, that’s it all.” Mainly the players of India who took part in AFC club tournaments, other than those in Bengaluru and FC Goa, did not play any game since the ISL got over earlier in this year, because of the second wave of the pandemic.

Stimac, however, is hopeful to win the Asian Cup. India still has a good chance of playing the continental showpiece in 3rd with 3 points, even if you finish the last time.

“I’m really sure we’ll be in AFC Cup at the end of this trip. I know our current situation is far from ideal at present. The team from Qatar is fully ready.

“Bangladesh played until recently in its league.”

Their preparation is much better. In Europe or in the United States, 23 out of 28 players are in Afghanistan, so that they will be in full swing.

“You know our team’s situation on the other hand. But we will do all we have at the moment, playing the games. What I can promise to you all.”

“Our players are leaving each energy atom on the field, doing everything to earn as much as they can for the AFC Asian Cup in those matches. Stimac said that they are finishing third in the group to cut it. We’re going to judge ourselves after that.

“We will try all to finish third but if it isn’t possible, we’ll do all we can and qualify for the AFC cup from any other position we start further.”

Zainab Murtaza

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