The Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Vipul, met the members of the Indian Football Team in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday along with representatives from the local Indian diaspora. The team presented signed jerseys to the Ambassador and a memento to the Indian Sports Council as a token of appreciation for the love and support they have shown. The ISC also launched the biography of the Blue Tigers legend of the 1950s and 1960s, M Kempaiah, in the presence of the Indian team. The book is authored by Kempaiah's daughter, Summa Gowda. AFC Asian Cup 2023: South Korea Benefits From Late Own Goal To Salvage 2–2 Draw With Jordan.

The Ambassador said as quoted by an All India Football Federation (AIFF) press release, "The kind of interest that is generated in Indian football today is simply amazing. The Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to have taken a keen interest in football himself. Football is a sport that is followed across the spectrum, not only in India but also among the Indian community abroad."

AIFF Official Tweet

India is set to travel to Doha once again later this year to play their FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Second Round Group A match against Qatar, on June 11.

"Qatar went to India a couple of months back for the World Cup Qualifiers, and now we look forward to welcoming you once again when you come back in June," said Vipul to the Indian team.

"I was there at the stadium in your last two matches to support you, and I will be again. I can say that the entire Indian community here continues to support you in whatever manner we can," said Vipul.

India head coach Igor Stimac thanked the Indian diaspora for their support of the team in Doha during the AFC Asian Cup.

"Big thanks to everyone in the Indian community here in Doha for cheering us on and for helping our boys and staff make this happen. Although we have not been as successful in the last two matches, the boys have worked very hard, and we thank all of you for the appreciation and support you have shown," said Stimac.

India captain Sunil Chhetri said, "I want to genuinely thank everyone that came to the stadium and supported us even after the results did not go in our favour. When we see the support we have been getting, it is simply outstanding. We know the result, but without you, it would not even have been close."

"There is a mini-India in Qatar, and those of us who have lived outside the country, Sandesh (Jhingan), Gurpreet (Singh), and myself, know how it is to live in another country, how lonely it gets. It is outstanding what you have all done to stay as a community here," he said. Aymen Hussein Scores Twice As Iraq Upsets Japan To Reach AFC Asian Cup 2023 Knockout Stage.

"I hope that all of you turn up in big numbers on January 23 and show us your support. We are all going to give everything on the pitch that day, and we hope to give something back to you," he concluded.

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