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 July 30, 2002 | 1925 IST

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Football team off for
Vietnam tourney

A 21-member India football team, led by Baichung Bhutia, left for Vietnam on Tuesday to participate in the L G Cup six-nation tournament, which commences on August 2.

However, promising Mani Tomba Singh could not accompany the team as he passport formalities had to be completed. He is expected to leave on Wednesday.

The Vietnam trip is the first official assignment for newly-appointed Cypriot-English coach Stephen Constantine. The 39-year-old, who was appointed in mid-June, has been with the squad since a training camp in Jamshedpur, from July 6.

Constantine expressed confidence of a good showing from the team and said the trip should provide the right exposure before the Busan Asian Games in September-October.

India play their first match in Group A on August 2, against Singapore Under-23, and meet Vietnam Under-23 on August 4.

The other nations in the fray are Senior Thailand, Senior Vietnam and Senior Indonesia, who comprise Group B.

The semi-finals and final will be played on August 6 and 8 respectively.

Technical director Sukhvinder Singh, assistant coach Aloke Mukherjee and Project director Santo Mitra are accompanying the team.