Germanpreet Singh and Sumeet Passi are two of the most significant names to form part of the list of released players.
It is only a matter of a couple of weeks before the much-awaited King’s Cup kicks off in Thailand and India are all set to impress at the tournament. Earlier this month, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had announced a list of 37 probables for the national team camp, following the arrival of Igor Stimac as the new head coach.
In an update to the list, six players have been released with immediate effect, cutting down the squad to 31 players. The move comes only a week after the squad began their training session under the new coach in Delhi, with a few rather surprising names.
Sumeet Passi (Jamshedpur), Nandha Kumar (Delhi Dynamos), Redeem Tlang (NorthEast United), Bikramjit Singh (Delhi Dynamos), Germanpreet Singh (Chennaiyin) and Vishal Kaith (FC Pune City) have been all released from the national team camp.
“I am very happy with the efforts put in by all the players till now. There is a serious competition to get into that final list of 23, who would be representing the country in the King’s Cup,” said Stimac.
“We have released six players who are to go back. Each one of them has been given an individual working programme which is to be executed in the future by themselves in an attempt to improve on their fitness and technical and tactical abilities,” he added.
When the preliminary squad was announced, many were delighted with the inclusion of debutant Redeem Tlang, who had a decent season in the Indian Super League (ISL). However, with lots of other high-profile midfielders already in the squad, the chances of him being named in the starting XI were thin.
Moreover, the exclusion of Passi- a regular pick for the Blue Tigers in recent years, also comes as a shock. However, now that the 24-year-old has been released, the likes of Manvir Singh, Jobby Justin and Farukh Choudhary have a great chance to impress Stimac and feature in the starting lineup.
Despite the exclusions, the squad is believed to be much stronger when compared to recent times and lot of expectations loom, especially the new and young players. The Blue Tigers take on Caribbean side Curacao on 5th June and all eyes will be on Stimac as he makes his competitive debut as India head coach.