Indian football team file photo | Image courtesy: AIFF

A 27-member Indian football team left for Dubai on March 15 for a preparatory camp ahead of India’s forthcoming international friendlies against Oman and UAE. Nine members in the Indian team are from Northeast states – Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.

The Indian football team includes Dheeraj Singh, Jeakson Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad and Suresh Singh from Manipur; Lalengmawia and Lallianzuala Chhangte from Mizoram and Halicharan Narzary from Assam.

While the match against Oman is scheduled for March 25, the match against UAE is slated for March 29. Both the matches will be played in Dubai. The Blue Tigers last played at the international level in November 2019 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.

In a setback to the Indian football team, talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri will not be able to travel after he tested positive for COVID-19. Chhetri, the highest Indian goal-scorer in international football with 72 goals, is currently recovering and is in self-isolation.

Head coach Igor Stimac said: “It is such a relief that we are all assembling together and gearing up for international action. There are a lot of new faces in the squad and it is time for hard work for all of them – in fact, for all in the camp. We need to check how they respond and how bright is our future with them.”

The coach also mentioned that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai were not available for selection as they are undergoing rehab at the moment.

27-member Indian football squad

GOALKEEPERS: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh.

DEFENDERS: Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mashoor Shereef.

MIDFIELDERS: Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad, Suresh Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan.

FORWARDS: Manvir Singh, Ishan Pandita, Hitesh Sharma, Liston Colaco.

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