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The Blue Tigers head to the Indian Ocean ahead of the SAFF Competition in the Maldives

The Blue Tigers traveled 40 minutes across the Indian Ocean waters from a group hotel to the mainland Maldives, where the South Asian Soccer Federation (SAFF) Competition is expected to start on October 1.

India will launch its campaign against Bangladesh on October 4.

Although most players are not used to walking on water, goal scorer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said, “I am happy to be back in the Maldives. The weather is good right now and we hope, we will make the country proud, and give them something to enjoy.”

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The 29-year-old added that the team was in good shape, and hopes to continue running and reach the final of the tournament.

Midfielder Anirudh Thapa said he was happy to see families on holiday on the island following the COVID-19 health plan and it was encouraging to see things back to normal.

“But we are not on vacation. We have a job, and it is a challenge. Football is what we are here for. For us, the holidays can wait, “he added.

According to the competition guidelines, the Indian fighters underwent RTPCR tests before arriving on the island and another upon arrival at the group hotel.

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The first part of the team’s training session was at the Football Association of Maldives training ground after which they returned to Male’s headquarters on a speedboat across the Indian Ocean.

“The boat ride will be a common occurrence for us in the next two weeks,” defended Rahul Bheke at a morning inspection meeting.

“This is my first SAFF competition, and I want it to be memorable. Our behavior on our part is obvious. We have played seven international games since March, and looking back, we wonder how many teams played the most during the epidemic. We have come to make our mark, and I will choose to take it every day, ”he added.


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