India announces 22-member squad for football match against China (Photo- Twitter)
Indian football coach Stephen Constantine on Tuesday announced a 22-member squad to play in the international friendly match against China on October 13, sources said.
The international friendly football match will play at Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in China, they said.
Playing with China is a great way to evaluate where the team stands at ahead of Asian Cup 2019, said Coach Constantine.
According to an official report, Atletico De Kolkata (ATK) striker Balwant Singh was dropped from the squad owing to his passport validity. He was denied the Chinese Visa.
In another bit of news, Balwant Singh has had to drop out of the squad because his passport's (remaining validity) is not exactly six months, it is five months and a week. It's frustrating because Balwant has done really well in the last 18 months with me. He is a player that we value very much and of course, he would have had some game time. But, there you go," Constantine said.
This is the first time the Indian Senior Football Team will be playing an international friendly match in China. The last time the ‘Blue Tigers’ and ‘Red Dragons’ squads met was in the Nehru Cup in Kochi back in 1997. China thrashed India by 2-1 then.
According to reports, India and China have played 17 matches so far, of which the Red Dragons have won on 12 occasions. The rest of the five matches ended in draws.
Terming the occasion as historic, All India Football Federation (AIFF) Kushal Das said that it is an amazing opportunity for two of the fastest emerging football markets and it will help in reviving the neighbourhood rivalry.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Karanjit Singh.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Sarthak Golui, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Subhasish Bose, Narayan Das.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Pronay Halder, Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Halicharan Narzary, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary.
(With inputs from agencies)