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Asian Games

AIFF writes to ISL clubs to release Asian Games-bound footballers

The All India Football Federation has urged the ISL clubs to release players selected for the upcoming Asian Games.

Indian Football Team Intercontinental Cup Trophy

Indian football team with the 2023 Intercontinental Cup trophy (AIFF)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 Sep 2023 2:54 PM GMT

The All India Football Federation has requested the ten Indian Super League franchises to release players selected for the upcoming Asian Games, keeping the "national interest in mind".

The 22-member Indian men's squad has six players from Bengaluru FC, three from Mumbai City FC, while FC Goa, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Odisha FC, and Kerala Blasters have two each.

The other clubs Punjab FC, Chennaiyin FC, and Hyderabad have one each.

The Indian Super League is starting on the 21st of September, while the Asian Games will be the day after on September 23 in Hangzhou, China.

AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran wrote a letter to the ISL clubs saying," We very much understand that this Asian Games is outside the FIFA window, and you are not obliged to release the players."

Being a continental showpiece, the Asian Games falls outside of the FIFA window, and clubs are not obligated to release the players for national duty.

"But we all have the responsibility towards the country to make India proud. As Indians we are obliged to make sacrifices for the country and, in this process, you have to decide by releasing the players considering the National interest in mind," the letter read.

"We are hopeful that you will release these players in time for the full strength of the team to be in the Asian Games and stand with the country during the Asian Games," Prabhakaran stated further.

The Indian men's team, ranked 99 in the FIFA rankings, is the second-best ranked team in Group A behind hosts China (No. 80). Myanmar (160) and Bangladesh (189) are the other two teams.

The Igor Stimac-coached side will begin its campaign against hosts China on September 19, followed by matches against Bangladesh (September 21) and Myanmar (September 24).

Indian Squad for the 2023 Asian Games

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru), Gurmeet Singh (Hyderabad), Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem (FC Goa).

Defenders: Anwar Ali, Ashish Rai (Mohun Bagan), Sandesh Jhingan (FC Goa), Narender Gahlot (Odisha FC), Lalchungnunga (East Bengal), Akash Mishra (Mumbai City), Roshan Singh (Bengaluru FC).

Midfielders: Rahul KP, Jeakson Singh (both Kerala Blasters), Suresh Singh Wangjam (Bengaluru), Apuia Ralte (Mumbai City), Amarjit Singh Kiyam (Punjab), Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal).

Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Rohit Danu, Siva Sakthi Narayanan (all Bengaluru), Rahim Ali (Chennaiyin), Aniket Jadhav (Odisha), Vikram Partap Singh (Mumbai).

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