The Indian men’s team has been unable to participate in any major international event over the past three years, owing to continued infighting among two factions within the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI). The COVID-19 pandemic only added to the players’ woes.
However, with the factional hostility subsiding, the team has been training hard at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar for two and half months for the upcoming Asian Championship in Japan (Chiba & Funabashi) from September 12 to 19.
India is placed in a tough Pool A with Bahrain, Qatar, and Japan. But head coach G. E. Sridharan is confident of his side reaching “at least the semifinals.”
“Most of the players are young and have been picked from the U-23 Asian championships, the team had played in 2019. We have four seniors in Karthik [Ashok], Jerome Vinith, Vinit Kumar and Kahatik Kamlesh. The only tough team in our group is Japan, and we hope to finish second-best and make it to quarters,” Sridharan told Sportstar from Japan. “Our block and service are our strong points, and the Indian players have always been good in attack.”
The last tournament for the men’s team was the Tokyo 2020 qualifiers in Guangzhou, China.