Lack of experience underpins India’s revised squad for Asian Games
Sunil Chhetri is the only big name in the 17-member squad announced
Sunil Chhetri‘s availability for the forthcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou has been the subject of considerable debate. However, later today, when AIFF officially confirmed the squad for the Asia, with Sunil Chhetri likely to lead the squad. Indian football fans would be much relieved by the news that Chhetri, the country’s all-time greatest goal scorer, will lead the Blue Tigers in the coveted competition. In addition, despite rumors to the contrary, it is anticipated that head coach Igor Stimac will go with the team to Hangzhou.
The senior players, Sandesh Jhingan and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra and Ashish Rai are to miss the Hangzhou Games because their clubs are unwilling to let them miss the first matches of the ISL, which begins on September 21.
On September 19, 21, and 24, respectively, Igor Stimac’s Blue Tigers will host China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh at the Asian Games. Due to the competition taking place outside of the authorized FIFA international window, the teams aren’t compelled to release players for it.
Comparing the Squad announced for the Hangzhou Asian Games
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 has named a 17-man roster out of possible 22 for the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. Sunil Chhetri, India’s football stellar, is among those who have made it to the squad despite prior rumors that he would not.
Previously the expected sqaud that was to be announced was: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Gurmeet Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Narender Gahlot, Lalchungnunga, Akash Mishra, Roshan Singh, Ashish Rai, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Apuia Ralte, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Rahul KP, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Siva Sakthi Narayanan, Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav, Vikram Partap Singh, Rohit Danu, Sunil Chhetri.
But later today, when AIFF officially announced the squad for Asian Games after on-going controversies. There has been multiple rumours with the ISL clubs and FSDL for the last few days regarding the release of players for National duty.
The squad that has been announced have only picked Sunil Chhetri as one senior player and other experienced players like, Sandesh Jhingan, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra and Ashish Rai, have not been included as their respective clubs have not agreed to release them ahead of the Indian Super Legaue (ISL). Azfar Noorani, who played for relegated Kenkre previous season, is the only player chosen by AIFF who has association with club outside of the ISL.
Igor Stimac will surely have a tough job to do, as he will be going to Hangzhou, China without many of his big assets of the team. It will be exciting to see how the young talents perform against other countries in the upcoming Asian Games when they have a leader like Sunil Chhetri to lead their side.
Men’s Football Squad for the Asian Games: Gurmeet Singh, Dheeraj Singh, Sumit Rathi, Narender Gahlot, Amarjit Singh, Samuel James, Rahul KP, Abdul Rabeeh, Anjukandan, Bryce Miranda, Azfar Noorani, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Rohit Danu, Gurkirat Singh, Aniket Jadav