June 18, 2021

Indian Arrows to start training from November first week in Bhubaneswar; India U16 to camp in Goa

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India U16 to start training under Bibiano Fernandes from November…

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows are set to start training from November first week in Bhubaneswar. The matter had come up in the AIFF Executive Committee meeting on Thursday. 

The Arrows side will be training under Shanmugam Venkatesh as part of their preparations for the upcoming edition of I-League, which is set to commence in January 2021. 

This time there will be a number of new faces in the squad as most players from the previous batch have secured a contract with Indian Super League (ISL) sides and are set to ply their trade in the top tier. 

Whereas, India U16 team will also organie a preparatory camp in Goa from November to prepare for the AFC Championship which has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has postponed the AFC U16 Championship that was scheduled to be held in Bahrain from November 25 due to the rise in number of Covid-19 cases in most of the countries. 

A couple of the participating nations had requested the apex body of football in Asia to shift the dates as they were not being able to adequately prepare for the tournament due to the worsening Coronavirus situations in their respective countries. 

The 2020 AFC U16 Championship will feature 16 teams – 12 of them qualified after winning their qualification groups while four best runners-up were also handed a spot.

The format for the final tournament will feature four groups of four teams each. The winner and runner-up in each group will progress to the quarter-finals.

India qualified for the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship finals in September 2019 as the table-toppers from Group B. With two wins and a draw, India managed to pick up seven points from three matches to finish above Bahrain, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan in the qualifiers held in Uzbekistan.

The top four teams of the AFC U-16 Championship finals qualify for the U-17 World Cup as representatives of the AFC.  

Meanwhile, in the Executive Committee meeting on Thursday evening, it was decided that the Covid-grant will be equally divided amongst state associations for this year. However, from the next footballing calendar, only the top 10 ranked state associations will be eligible for the grant.