Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

While the whole country is soaked in the craze of cricket due to the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023, football frenzy is gradually catching up in Bhubaneswar. The main reason behind the exception is that the Indian team will lock horns with World No. 61 Qatar in the second Group A match of the FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers tournament at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on November 21.

The Blue Tigers (as Indian football team is popularly known) have already reached Bhubaneswar to take on formidable Qatar in the all-important clash.

Earlier on Thursday, India had kicked off its campaign in the tournament on a positive note with a 1-0 victory against Kuwait at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City. The confidence of the Indian team will be sky high after registering the fighting win against Kuwait as they are getting ready to give a tough challenge to Qatar in their next match to be played on their home ground.

Meanwhile, tickets are being sold both online and offline for the all-important clash between India and Qatar to be played at the Kalinga Stadium in the State Capital on Tuesday. Football fans have made a beeline in front of the box office near the stadium to buy tickets.

“We are hopeful of a great show by the Indian team against Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium. I am excited for the match and eager to enjoy it up to the hilt,” said a fan.

“It will be a great opportunity and honour for us to support and cheer our team against Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium. India have been bolstered after pipping Kuwait in their last match. We are sure that the Blue Tigers will continue their momentum in the same vein against Qatar,” said another fan.

“We will give full support to Virat Kohli on November 19. Moreover, we will provide our full support and cheer to Sunil Chhetri at the Kalinga Stadium on November 21. We will certainly help the Indian football team to enter the World Cup with our warm support, great enthusiasm and passion for the game,” a third fan said.