India gears up for AFC Challenge Cup 2008

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New Delhi, Jun 20 (UNI) AFC Challenge Cup 2008 hosts India have lined up a busy schedule to prepare for the competition which will be held in Hyderabad from July 30 to August 10.

India, who lost the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship final to Maldives recently by a solitary goal, will have a training camp here from June 24 before the team flies to Portugal for a 10-day training-cum-competition tour in the first week of July.

The team will also play a few friendly matches after their return from Portugal.

Indian coach Bob Houghton has added 11 players to the 20 who were part of the team for the SAFF Championship for the camp.

The Englishman has included Sandeep Nandy, Surkumar Singh, Clifford Miranda, K Ajayan and Baldeep Singh, who were injured before the South Asian event, in the list of 31 probables.

India are in a tough group at the biennial AFC Challenge Cup.

They have been clubbed in Group A alongside defending champions Tajikistan, central Asian powerhouse Turkmenistan and surprise qualifiers Afghanistan.

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