Monday 14 November 2022 7:34 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON Nov 14: The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played from 20 November to 18 December. Thirty-two teams will compete across 64 matches in the 22nd edition of the competition and the first played in the Arab world.
India failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The history of the India national football team dates back to the 1920s. They have never played in the World Cup although they qualified in 1950. They have had no entries in the tournament from 1950 onwards.
However, the year 2022, will see an Indian playing part in an international team contingent. UK based Keralite Vinay Menon has joined Belgium national team’s Wellness Consultant and he will be travelling to Qatar alongwith the team.
Keralites all over the world too can be proud, as it has its very own contribution to the World Cup through Vinay Menon, who is now Belgium team’s Wellness consultant. Under Vinay the team will be looking to improve on their third-place finish at Russia 2018.
Speaking to this website, Vinay said: “Yes, I agree that I may be probably be the only Indian being part of any international team’s contingent. However, I would love to see India being part of such big tournaments”.
On being asked if he would be interested to play a role in reviving Indian football he said: “If I get an opportunity I can work towards getting players to have the right mindset and have India playing with top teams by the year 2028”
Vinay Menon, born in Cherai in Kochi, lives with his wife Flomny Menon and son Abhay in London.
Belgium are in Group F, and will face Morocco, Croatia and Canada at the Qatar World Cup, tough tests they need to navigate successfully if they are to have any chance of reaching the final on December 18.
Vinay is also at present the wellness consultant and mind strategist of English Premier League side Chelsea Football Club.
Before accepting the offer, Vinay had a meeting with Belgium’s head coach Roberto Martinez in London last month. The Belgium squad for the World Cup will reach Kuwait on November 18 before heading to Doha. Vinay will stay with the team till the end of the quadrennial event.
It was in 2008 that Vinay moved to London and started working with the Blues as their wellness consultant and mind strategist. For the last 13 seasons, Vinay has been one of the key members of Chelsea’s backroom staff who works in tandem with the head coach in ensuring that the players are at their peak going into each and every game.
In 2019 the New York Times carried an article about Vinay Menon titled “The Yoga Master Who Might Be Chelsea’s Secret Weapon, Vinay Menon moved to London to work for Roman Abramovich. The owner soon introduced him to his most prized asset. And the players started to listen”. It looks like the predictions have come true with Chelsea’s successes.
Vinay Menon with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during one of his trips to Kerala
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