Indian team starts Asian Cup prep in Dubai | sports | Hindustan Times
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Indian team starts Asian Cup prep in Dubai

sports Updated: Nov 03, 2010 21:10 IST

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Starting its month-long preparations for the January Asian Cup in Qatar, the 37-member Indian football squad has arrived here for training and planned friendly matches against local clubs.

Chief coach Bob Houghton had already travelled from South Africa to join the players and the rest of the supporting staff that flew in from New Delhi.

Skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and star striker Sunil Chhetri are among the players who joined the squad in New Delhi before making the trip to Dubai.

The Indian team has started its daily training at the local Al Wasl Club.

Efforts are being made to organise friendlies with clubs and other neighbouring countries during their stay here.

"This is not the first time that the Indian team has chosen Dubai as its training destination,' Gulf International Promotion's (GIP) Raul Fernandes told 'Gulf News'.

"All of them love the appeal of Dubai along with the excellent training facilities here. The added bonus will be the acclimatisation factor as they prepare for the Asian Cup to be played in Qatar in January 2011," he said.

With UAE Football taking a short break to accommodate international activity including the Asian Games in China this month, a lot of the local clubs have confirmed their friendly matches against the Indian team.

"There will be friendly matches against other countries, but these will be made known only after they are confirmed," Fernandes said.