Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac has named a strong 23-man squad for the SAFF Championship 2021, which kicks off from October 1 in the Maldives.
India are seven-time SAFF football champions, with the last title coming in 2015. The team finished as runners up in the last edition in 2018.
Goalkeeper Amrinder Singh was initially named in the squad but was later withdrawn after he tested positive for COVID-19. He was replaced by youngster Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem.
Winger Udanta Singh was recalled to the team after he missed the two international friendlies against Nepal.
Senior players Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu are also part of the squad.
Veteran defender Sandesh Jhingan missed out due to injury while midfielders Bipin Singh and Pranoy Halder were not included.
India will play Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and hosts Maldives in a round-robin format, with the top-two teams playing the final on October 16.
India will open their campaign against Bangladesh on October 4. They then play Sri Lanka on October 7, Nepal on October 10 and Maldives on October 13.
World No. 107 India are the highest-ranked team in the tournament, according to the current FIFA rankings for men’s football.
Indian football squad for SAFF Championship
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh, Vishal Kaith, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Seriton Fernandes, Chinglensana Singh, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Mandar Rao Dessai.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Glan Martins, Suresh Singh, Liston Colaco, Yasir Mohammad.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary