AFC U22 Championship (Q): India to open against Lebanon




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Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex

5pm Local Time, 6:30pm IST

India U22 team, The Blue Cubs, open their campaign against Lebanon to qualify for AFC U22 Championship today in the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman.

While Lebanese senior national football team is giving a good fight in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the U22 team is a completely unknown quantity. However, given the recent improvements in the quality of the senior team, it is safe to assume that they are doing good job with the youths.

Coach Arthur Papas is quite optimistic and hopeful about a good start against the Lebanese side. In an interview to he says,

It is our first match of the Championship and is a critical one. A good start can provide us the optimism to look a qualification

Arthur Papas, Coach, India U22

Indian football squad is gelling well together under Papas. The team unity is strong and the mood is upbeat. India earlier prepared at camps in Bangalore, New Delhi and Dubai playing practice matches against relatively weaker teams.

Captain Jeje Lalpekhlua has a break during a practice session.India won 2 matches against Delhi XI by 4-1 margin. The also held an African XI composing of African players on trial in Dubai at 2-2 and defeated Dnata FC 4-1.

Papas has imposed strict discipline and has his own way of giving ‘punishment’ if the players fail to walk the line. When a few members failed to report on time for lunch recently in a hotel in Muscat, he made them sing the Indian national anthem Jana Gana Mana.

Under the guidance of TD Rob Baan, India is trying to adapt to a formation which is 4-3-2-1 more like 4-3-3. Arthur has trained the boys according to the new formation and they are settling in.

We have adjusted to a new style, it’s a new bunch and we have a new Coach at the helm. There’s a more definite approach at the moment

Jeje Lalpekhlua, Captain, India U22 team

The good news from the camp is that Jeje Lalpekhlua has completely recovered from his injury and ready to roar.

I’ve recovered fully and am fit at the moment.


He does not see captaining the side as additional burden and is looking forward to it. Jeje is a regular in Indian senior football team and the best bet for India U22 team in the striking department.

For India U22 vs Lebanon U22 Live Discussions and Streaming CLICK HERE

With inputs from Mr Nilanjan Dutta, AIFF Media Manager


  1. This is the team who going to take the oars of the senior indian team in future… of luck…come on do smethng for india…

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