A few notable players have been dropped for this tour.

India have announced a 23-member squad for the upcoming Hung Tinh Friendly football tournament in Vietnam. A few days back, Igor Stimac had named his probable squad for the event. A single exclusion from that list is midfielder Deepak Tangri. On 18th September, the team had settled in Kolkata for a two-day camp prior to their departure for the friendlies.

India are travelling to Vietnam on 20th September. In the friendlies, they’ll play against Singapore and Vietnam on 24th and 27th September, respectively. The previously announced list took everyone to surprise as important players such as Manvir Singh, Pritam Kotal and Subhasish Bose were excluded from the team. Youngsters Asish Rai and Hormipam Ruivah also failed to make it into the squad. Perhaps their foray in the Durand Cup 2022 didn’t fulfil the coach’s demands (except Hormipam who didn’t participate).

On 19th September, in AIFF Executive Committee’s meeting it was decided that head coach Igor Stimac will be staying till the end of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign. As per the decision, a quarter-final finish will earn Stimac a further contract renewal. This round-robin tournament will enable Stimac to get hold of his team’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the mega event next year.

India’s squad

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem

Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Naorem Roshan Singh, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra, Chinglensana Singh, Narender Gahlot, Harmanjot Singh Khabra

Midfielders: Liston Colaco, Ashique Kuruniyan, Vikram Partap Singh, Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Yasir Mohammad, Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul KP, Lallianzuala Chhangte

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita

India enjoyed a successful AFC Asian Cup Third-Round Qualifier campaign in June. The team registered victories in all the matches. As a result, they earned a place in the AFC Asian Cup on a consecutive occasion after 2019. This is the first time India have made back-to-back qualifications into the tournament. The round-robin friendly tournament will hopefully mark just the beginning of the preparations for the AFC event.

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