AFC Cup 2021: Bengaluru FC name 29 man squad ahead of the AFC Cup playoffs
Erik Paartalu and Prince Ibara are notable absentees, as BFC announce their 29-man squad for the AFC Cup playoff clash against Club Eagles.
Bengaluru FC, on Monday, announced their 29-man squad for the 2021 AFC Cup playoff against Maldivian side Club Eagles, on August 15. Skipper Sunil Chhetri will lead the side, which includes as many as seven new signings.
Defenders Alan Costa, Yrondu Musavu King, and Brazilian striker Cleiton Silva make up the Blues' foreign contingent, which also features six new Indian signings in Harmanpreet Singh, Jayesh Rane, Bidyashagar Singh, Sarthak Golui, Danish Farooq, and Rohit Kumar.
The graduates from the club's reserve side include goalkeeper Sharon Padattil, midfielder Muhammad Inayath, as well as strikers Akashdeep Singh and Sivasakthi Narayanan, who finished as top scorer in the Blues' BDFA Super Division League campaign.
The notable missing personnel in the squad is the Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu. The relationship between the former ISL Champions and the 35-year-old midfielder turned sour after he allegedly breached the secure bio-bubble in the Maldives.
The breach by Erik and few more members of the BFC squad led to the postponement of the AFC Cup from May to August. You can read the entire report on the saga between Bengaluru FC and Erik Paartalu here.
Due to the absence of Erik in the squad, BFC will only have three foreign players in the squad. A club is allowed to have four foreigners in the squad, but out of the four one player has to be from an AFC representing confederation. Erik was the only AFC nation foreigner BFC had in their squad, and his absence means that the Blues can only field three foreign players.
The three foreign players selected by the club are defenders Alan Costa, Yrondu Musavu King, and forward Cleiton Silva. The new 25-year-old Brazillian forward Prince Ibara has also not made the cut to the AFC cup squad, but most likely he will be ready for the Indian Super League.
The Blues' playoff clash against Club Eagles will take place at the National Stadium, in the Maldives, on August 15. Victory in the playoff will send the Blues into Group D, which includes Indian Super League side ATK Mohun Bagan, Bashundhara Kings (Bangladesh), and Maziya S&RC (Maldives).
Here is the complete BFC squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil
Defenders: Pratik Chaudhari, Wungngayam Muirang, Ajith Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Parag Shrivas, Yrondu Musavu-King, Biswa Darjee, Alan Costa, Sarthak Golui
Midfielders: Suresh Wangjam, Namgyal Bhutia, Jayesh Rane, Danish Farooq, Rohit Kumar, Muhammad Inayath, Ajay Chhetri
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Leon Augustine, Naorem Roshan Singh, Bidyashagar Singh, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh
Head Coach: Marco Pezzaiuoli
Assistant Coach: Naushad Moosa