Indian Football: Xavi predicts India’s ouster in the group stages of 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Indian Women’s Team accelerates their Olympic Qualifiers preparations, and much more!!!

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Welcome to another edition of Indian football news roundup. Today, we will talk about Xavi’s prediction for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Indian Women’s Team’s preparations, AIFF’s interview of Subrata Bhattacharya and Bhaichung Bhutia, a hero returning in Chennai City FC, a Chennaiyin FC faithful signing a three-year extension, and Gokulam FC losing a key foreigner.

In case you missed out our yesterday’s edition of the Indian football news roundup, you can check it out here.

2019 AFC Asian Cup: Xavi predicts India to be knocked out in the group stages

Xavi predicts Qatar to go all the way
Xavi predicts Qatar to go all the way

Barcelona legend Xavi recently appeared on Qatari news channel Al Kass and predicted the winner of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Surprisingly, the 38-year-old chose the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar as the winner pipping South Korea in the final.

While many are baffled by Xavi’s preposterous prediction, what has drawn the ire of the Indian fans is the fact that he predicted India to be knocked out in the group stages itself. The midfielder predicted India to finish in the bottom of the pile with UAE topping the group. Thailand and Bahrain would finish in the second and third position respectively according to the revered Spaniard.

Indian Women’ Team accelerates their Olympic Qualifiers’ preparations

Indian Women's Team will kickstart their Olympic Qualifiers second round in April
Indian Women’s Team will kickstart their Olympic Qualifiers second round in April

The Indian women’s football team received a major boost in their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the Indian government awarded AIFF a huge amount for the upliftment of women’s football in India and the senior team’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

As per Goal.com, the AIFF has chalked out a 100-day plan which will include friendlies against quality oppositions as well as exposure trips abroad. The General Secretary of AIFF, Kushal Das, has said that the team would play a minimum of 15-20 international matches before the second round and a four-nation tournament to be played in Cuttack is also being planned.

India qualified for the second round of Olympic Qualifiers for the first time in the history. Coach Maymol Rocky and his team are raring to put their best foot forward.

“It is a very proud moment for our family to have two members to have played in the AFC Asian Cup,”- Subrata Bhattacharya, father-in-law of Sunil Chhetri

The Mohun Bagan legend had some kind words for Sunil Chhetri
The Mohun Bagan legend had some kind words for Sunil Chhetri

Soumo Ghosh of the AIFF Media Team recently interviewed Mohun Bagan legend and Sunil Chhetri’s father-in-law Subrata Bhattacharya. The former Bhowanipore FC coach said:

“It is a very proud moment for our family to have two members to have played in the AFC Asian Cup. I played in 1984, and Sunil in 2011. Now he will represent India in his second Asian Cup – a feat which not many Indians have been able to achieve. It makes us 3-times prouder.”

“I feel lucky and privileged to have played with both Sunil Chhetri and IM Vijayan,”- Bhaichung Bhutia

Bhaichung Bhutia was all praise for Sunil Chhetri and IM Vijayan
Bhaichung Bhutia was all praise for Sunil Chhetri and IM Vijayan

Shraisth Jain of the AIFF Media Team recently interviewed former Indian national team captain Bhaichung Bhutia. Apart from dwelling on India’s prospects in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the Sikkimese Sniper shared his thoughts on playing alongside Sunil Chhetri and IM Vijayan. Here is what he said:

“I feel lucky and privileged to have played with both. When I made my debut, Vijayan was a senior player and I was very happy to play under his guidance, combine with him on the pitch, and get his support. When Sunil came in, he was the younger one. We had a great understanding and a healthy competition amongst ourselves.”

Chennaiyin FC News: Dhanpal Ganesh signs a three-year extension with Chennaiyin FC

Dhanpal Ganesh is ruled out of this edition due to an injury
Dhanpal Ganesh is ruled out of this edition due to an injury

Despite being stranded on the bottom of the table, Chennaiyin FC has reposed their faith on Dhanpal Ganesh by handing him a three-year contract. The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has been ruled out of this season owing to an injury but should be back with the Marina Machans for the next season.

Chennai City FC News: Sinivasan Pandiyan rejoins the I-League side

The Thanjavur-born player comes back to the I-League side
The Thanjavur-born player comes back to the I-League side

Sinivasan Pandiyan has changed his allegiance from Chennaiyin FC to Chennai City FC. The 23-year-old dazzled the eyes of the fans, pundits, and spectators with his scintillating performance in the I-League last season along with Michael Soosairaj. While Soosairaj has found himself starting continuously for Jamshedpur FC in the ISL, Pandiyan was yet to start a single game for Chennaiyin FC.

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