Bengaluru FC refuses to release players for SAFF Cup preparatory camp

Bengaluru FC refuses to release players for SAFF Cup preparatory camp

no photo

I-League club Bengaluru FC have refused to release their players including Indian captain Sunil Chhetri, for the preparatory camp, which will be held in Kochi, ahead of the upcoming SAFF Cup scheduled to start from December 23 at Trivandrum.

Just two months after some Indian Super League (ISL) clubs raised a controversy by refusing to release players for India's preparatory camp for the World Cup Qualifiers, the I-league club has joined the chorus. Bengaluru FC, who won the Federation Cup earlier this year, have cited fatigue as the reason behind this decision.

"Bengaluru FC have written a letter to the AIFF. Their coach feels that the players are too tired and they would release them only four days before the tournament.

"We have told them that their decision will create problems for the national team and they will revert to us after discussing with their technical team. For now, none of the Bengaluru FC players have reported for the preparatory camp," All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das was quoted as saying by Times of India on Wednesday.

Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Rino Anto, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Udanta Singh, Alwyn George, Lalchhuanmawia, Daniel Lalramzuava and Malswamzuala are the nine players who have been selected in the 40-man probable list by national team coach Stephen Constantine.

While Robin Singh and Rino Anto are still participating in the ISL, with Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata respectively, Sunil Chhetri and six other Bengaluru FC players were expected to join the 28 probables in the preparatory camp, which is set to be held in Kochi from Wednesday. But none of them have turned up.

In the letter written to AIFF, Bengaluru FC have mentioned the facts that Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh have played 52, 51 and 48 matches respectively since January this year. The Blues have claimed that the players require rest after their participation in the ISL and that these nine players are yet to receive the chance to train with the club, despite the I-League being scheduled to start on January 9.

The AIFF cannot do much about this situation as well, since according to FIFA guidelines, a club is entitled to release a player for national team duty only three days before a match.

Get updates! Follow us on

Open all