A 27-member squad will leave for Dubai on Monday for a preparatory camp ahead of the international freindlies against Oman and UAE, later this month. Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri would give the tour a miss after he tested positive for Covid-19, while Sahal Abdul Samad has also been left out.
It was in November 2019 that the Indian football team played their last match, against Oman, in the 2020 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, following which the pandemic struck. With three matches still left in the qualifiers and a spot at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup up for grabs, Igor Stimac’s men would be eager to as many points as possible when the fixtures get underway in June.
In a build-up to the qualifiers, India is scheduled to play a couple of international matches against Oman and UAE, in Dubai later this month. As per recent developments, a 27-member member squad will leave for Dubai on Monday for the preparatory camp ahead of the matches on 25th March (Oman) and 29th March (UAE).
But talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri would give the tour a miss after he tested positive for Covid-19. Meanwhile, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul Bheke, Brandon Fernandes and Ashish Rai have all been left out of the contingent, with the players undergoing rehabilitation at the moment.
"It is such a relief that we are all assembling together and gearing up for international action. There are a lot of new faces in the squad and it is time for hard work for all of them – in fact, for all in the camp. We need to check how they respond and how bright is our future with them," said Indian team coach Igor Stimac.
27-member squad for the preparatory camp in Dubai:
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Ishan Pandita, Hitesh Sharma, Liston Colaco