World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri returns for Indian team

A 28-member Indian national team squad will leave for Doha on Wednesday evening for India’s three forthcoming qualifying matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and AFC Asian Cup China 2023. Indian team will be in UAE for most of the next month as the first game is set to take place on June 3.

Sunil Chhetri is back in the squad after missing friendlies that were played in the United Arab Emirates in the last international break. The Indian captain was recovering from covid-19 during the last international break. Chhetri is relieved after returning to the national team setup after such a long break. His last appearance for India came before the pandemic. After announcing the squad, Igor Stimac bemoaned about disruption in the preparations due to the pandemic.

Igor Stimac said, “It’s not an ideal situation as we move ahead to the qualifiers in June. Due to the pandemic, our national camp which was slated to begin in Kolkata at the beginning of May had to get cancelled. The pandemic also robbed us of a friendly match in Dubai.”

The current round of matches is being played in Doha given the COVID pandemic situation doesn’t allow the original format of home and away matches. India is currently out of contention to go into the next round of qualification for the World Cup.

The 28-member squad for upcoming games for India:

GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh.

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.

MIDFIELDERS: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan.

FORWARDS: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.

India’s Fixtures:

June 3: India vs Qatar (IST 10.30 pm).

June 7: Bangladesh vs India (IST 7.30 pm).

June 15: India vs Afghanistan (IST 7.30 pm).

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