THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

AFC Asian Cup – The wait is over…

AFC Asian Cup 2011 - India

AFC Asian Cup 2011 - India

The AFC Asian Cup 2011 will kick-off today evening, when hosts Qatar face Uzbekistan in the opener. The Indian national team arrived in Doha on Thursday and checked-in at their hotel.

The best 16 teams of Asia will be competing for continential glory with Australia, Japan and South Korea being the favourites to clinch the title. Defending champions Iraq are not expected to pull another surprise like they did in the last edition of the tournament in 2007.

Our Indian team will open their campaign on Monday, when they face mighty Australia in Group C. Bob Houghton and his team arrived in Doha on an Emirates flight from Dubai yesterday.

Team India is scheduled to have its first practice session at Al Wakrah Stadium on Friday. The practise session will start at 10.00 local time (12.30 IST | 08.30 CET).

The AFC Asian Cup 2011 will be an interesting tournament and a great exposure for our boys. The mood back home in India and among Team India fans was not positive at all in the last few weeks and it has been called a “do or die” situation many people.

My request to you all out there reading this few line:
SUPPORT TEAM INDIA – NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN QATAR! The world is watching us and a national team is always seen as the pride of a nation!

I will be traveling to Doha in a few days time to support the Indian team and to report for a few media organisations. It will be my first trip to Qatar and a good chance to get a first-hand impression of the 2022 FIFA World Cup host nation.

And yes – I will be taking my camera with me and take a few snaps as always to keep you updated!