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City to host football camps for Asiad

- AIFF keen on holding friendly matches here ahead of Games in S Korea

Jamshedpur may well witness a repeat of 2002 when the steel city hosted a preparatory camp for the Indian men’s football team ahead of the Asian Games in Pusan, South Korea.

Twelve years on, the city is all prepared to play host to a similar exercise for the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. The quadrennial extravaganza is scheduled from September 19 to October 4.

The All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) is keen to conduct a camp for women’s football team in Jamshedpur and has communicated the same to the authorities of Tata Steel sports department, which has shown interest to organise one for the men’s national squad also.

“We are not only keen to host a FIFA-friendly match in Jamshedpur but also a preparatory camp of our women’s team. Talks are already on with Tata Steel officials,” an AIFF functionary, not willing to be quoted, revealed.

Tata Steel sports department head Charles Borromeo told The Telegraph that the parent body was interested to hold a women’s football camp in city for the upcoming Games. “But we are ready to host the men’s camp too. Now, we are waiting for the dates from the AIFF,” he added.

According to sources at the Tata sports department, the proposed camps are likely to be held either at the JRD Tata Sports Complex or Keenan Stadium. “We are also looking forward to friendly matches between the national teams and Tata Football Academy to give exposure to our cadets,” a senior official with the department said.

Currently, the Indian men’s team is sweating out at a three-week preparatory camp that kicked off in Bangalore today. The campers in Bangalore are expected to go on an exposure tour to Spain and some Asian countries. The women players, on the other hand, are camping in Mumbai.

So, the squads are expected to come to Jamshedpur in the middle of August or early September. “These could well turn out to be the final preparatory camps before they leave for Incheon,” the senior official maintained.

The number of campers will be around 30, including those in the under-23 age group, in each camp.

From the men’s team, apart from skipper Reneddy Singh, city’s soccer lovers can also watch top players like Robin Singh, a former TFA cadet who is playing for Bengaluru FC, in action.