The selected names of Indian senior men’s national football squad assembled for a preparatory camp in the city on Monday after a fairly creditable showing in the 2022 World Cup / 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in Doha in June. The present camp has been called to prepare the Indian team for two international friendlies against Nepal in the first week of September.
This will be an important outing for the National side ahead of the SAFF Championship, which after multiple postponements is now scheduled to be played in the first week of October in Maldives. The All India Football Federation had devised the calendar for the remainder part of the season to lay out a robust engagement for the senior national team under its head coach Igor Stimac, who recently earned a contract extension.
“We have made our best efforts in laying out a robust engagement for our Senior National team despite the ongoing pandemic situation and the different quarantine rules in different countries. India will play six international matches in the second half of 2021, and a possible seventh if we progress to the SAFF championship final,” said Kushal Das, the AIFF general secretary, in a statement.
The preparatory camp in Kolkata, which is happening in the city after a break of 15 years, will be taking place under a secure bio bubble environment adhering to the parameters laid out in the current pandemic situation.
The international class practice grounds developed at the Salt Lake Stadium during FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017 will be used for training. The entire contingent of players and coaching staff will be undergoing regular COVID screening tests during the camp, which will be on for a little over two weeks before the squad leaves for Kathmandu.
The present 24 players for the camp: Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith; Defenders: Ashish Rai, Seriton Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Chinglensana Singh, Narender, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai; Midfielders: Bipin Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Glan Martins, Jeakson Singh, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Yasir Mohammed, Halicharan Narzary; Forwards: Rahul KP, Farukh Choudhary, Ishan Pandita, Rahim Ali. (Players of BFC and ATKMB will join the camp after their AFC Cup engaments).