Sunil Chhetri to lead India’s Asian Games squad in China, AIFF thank ISL clubs for releasing players

by The Technical Blogs


India announced their Asian Games football squad on Wednesday, 13 September. The All India Football Federation named a 15-member squad for the continental tournament which is going to be led by India captain Sunil Chhetri later in the month of September and October in Hangzhou, China.

While announcing the squad, the AIFF expressed its thanks to clubs in the Indian Super League for coordinating with the national body for the release of players in the Asian Games. The ISL and the I League clubs were in no compulsion to send their players to the tournament as it would have clashed with the upcoming domestic season in Indian football.

AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey via an official statement said that it was going to be a hectic season for Indian football. India have had a busy schedule with SAFF Cup, Intercontinental Cup, Kings Cup and Tri-Nation series and it is going to be more complicated for the players and their teams in case the team goes the distance in the tournament.

“It has been a hectic time for Indian football season this time. We have a tight schedule within a short period of time that was not easy to manage,” Chaubey said in the statement.

“There have been too many things happening, both at the domestic and the international level, involving India’s National Teams, as well as the ISL clubs. While the Senior National Men’s Team successfully completed playing a series of matches, they are also awaiting to play the Asian Games, followed by Merdeka Cup, World Cup Qualifiers, and the AFC Asian Cup,” he further added.

“We must remember that there are general elections coming, and to avoid the adverse weather conditions in certain parts of the country, we had to adjust the schedule, and shorten the domestic calendar to an extent so that these things don’t hamper the quality of the games and put unnecessary pressure on the players,” the AIFF statement said quoting Chaubey.

“There were situations which were unavoidable and demanded a great balancing act. It was never easy, but at the same time, I must reach out to FSDL and the clubs, thanking them for making it possible. The Indian National Team are going to the Asian Games after a nine-year gap, and it has become possible because of the active support the Indian Football received from the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,” said the AIFF President. He once again thanked the Government of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for their support to Indian football and utmost cooperation,” he further added.

It needs to be noted that the Indian Olympic Association initially had not allowed the Indian team to participate in the Asian Games. But after the AIFF and in particular Igor Stimac persisted with their requests, the Sports Ministry overruled the IOA’s decision and allowed the team to participate in the tournament.

India Squad

Gurmeet Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Sumit Rathi, Narender Gahlot, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Samuel James, Rahul KP, Abdul Rabeeh Anjukandan, Ayush Dev Chhetri, Bryce Miranda, Azfar Noorani, Rahim Ali, Vincy Bareto, Sunil Chhetri, Rohit Danu, Gurkirat Singh, Aniket Jadhav.

Edited By:

Kingshuk Kusari

Published On:

Sep 13, 2023


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