Ahead of the international friendlies next month, the India men’s national football team is set to camp in Kolkata from August 15. The Blue Tigers last camped in Kolkata back in 2006 prior to the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.

The training sessions will start from August 16, the AIFF said in a statement.

The camp will be conducted under a secured bio-bubble adhering to health guidelines in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The contingent, including both the players and the staff, will also be undergoing regular testing.

Igor Stimac, the national team head coach, has named his initial list of 23 probables, leaving out players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC owing to the two club’s commitments in the AFC Cup in the Maldives.

“I am very happy to meet with my players again and get ready for the upcoming challenges forward together,” the 53-year-old Croatian said.

“We wish both the Indian clubs good luck and hope they do well in the AFC Cup. Meanwhile, we need to check on the rest of the players who will kick-off the camp with us next week, and choose the best ones until the rest of the players join us,” he added.

The 23 players joining the camp on August 15 are as follows —

Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith.

Defenders: Ashish Rai, Seriton Fernandes, Adil Khan, Chinglensana Singh, Narender, Rahul Bheke, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai.

Midfielders: Lalengmawia, Glan Martins, Jeakson Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Sahal Abdul Samad, Halicharan Narzary, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammed.

Forwards: Rahul KP, Farukh Choudhary, Ishan Pandita, Rahim Ali.

Maldives won the rights to host the SAFF tournament because of the relatively better Covid-19 situation there and hosted last in 2008.The Blue Tigers as the Indian football team is known has won the biennial men’s football championship seven times since 1993.

Meanwhile, the Indian national team will begin their camp in Kolkata from August 15, for the upcoming international friendlies against Nepal in September.

National coach Igor Stimac has named 23 probables but left out ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC players who are competing in the AFC Cup also in the Maldives. After club commitments, players will join the camp soon.

 



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