As India prepare for their 2022 World Cup Qualifier match against Oman, senior defender Anas Edathodika has joined the squad in Muscat, six days after the passing of his mother. The center-back had withdrawn himself from the training camp in Dubai, earlier last week and returned back to India because of a family emergency and due to this missed India’s draw against Afghanistan. The ATK player is an important member of Stimac’s backline and his return will surely boost the confidence of Indian players as they march into this do-or-die qualifier match. India are currently fourth in Group E standings and are winless in the qualifying campaign so far. India vs Oman, 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Struggling India Visit Oman With Hopes of Getting Disorientated Campaign Back on Track.

Indian Coach Igor Stimac has praised the character of Anas Edathodika, who despite losing his mother has decided to join the team in their time of need. 'We suffer from time to time when players get injured or due to other problems. He (Anas) had to leave the camp and go back before the Afghanistan game, as his mother passed away,' said Stimac. 'But I want to mention that he has come back to serve the country. I have players like him in our team and I’m proud of them. His return boosts the team.'  India vs Oman, FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Udanta Singh, Ahmed Mubarak & Other Key Players to Watch Out for in Oman vs India Football Match.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who joined Stimac for press conference has praised Anas’ commitment to the National Team.  'I was very sorry to hear about his loss, it is a difficult time for him and his family. My prayers are with him. His commitment to the National Team is unparalleled and something that fuels our desire to go out there and play our hearts out,' said Sandhu. Indian skipper Suni Chettri pointed out that playing with the team might help Anas to get through these tough days. 'It is pure strength shown by our experienced Anas-Bhai. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for him and the grief inside him. I hope staying with the team and playing football helps him in the process,' an emotional Chhetri added. FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2022 Asia Group E Points Table Updated: Team Standings of India, Bangladesh, Qatar, Oman and Afghanistan.

India are currently fourth in Group E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with three points. The Blue Tigers will go into the match knowing that anything other than a victory may end their chances of qualifying for the next round and crush their dreams of playing in a World Cup. India will be without the services of Sandesh Jhingan as the defender is sidelined with a knee injury.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 19, 2019 02:47 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website