India announced their football team for the Asian Games on September 14. The All India Football Federation selected a 15-player team for the continental competition, which will take place in Hangzhou, China, later in September and October and be captained by India's Sunil Chhetri.
The Indian Super League teams were thanked by the AIFF for working with the national organisation to coordinate the release of players for the Asian Games when the squad was announced. The forthcoming domestic season of Indian football would have conflicted with the event, hence the ISL and I League teams were under no obligation to send their players.
It will be a busy season for Indian football, AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey said in a formal statement. With the SAFF Cup, Intercontinental Cup, Kings Cup, and Tri-Nation Series on the calendar for India, things would be much more difficult for the players and their teammates if the team advances further in the competition.
“It has been a hectic time for Indian football season this time. We have a tight schedule within a short period of time that was not easy to manage," Chaubey said in the statement.
“There have been too many things happening, both at the domestic and the international level, involving India’s National Teams, as well as the ISL clubs. While the Senior National Men’s Team successfully completed playing a series of matches, they are also awaiting to play the Asian Games, followed by Merdeka Cup, World Cup Qualifiers, and the AFC Asian Cup,” he further added.
“We must remember that there are general elections coming, and to avoid the adverse weather conditions in certain parts of the country, we had to adjust the schedule, and shorten the domestic calendar to an extent so that these things don’t hamper the quality of the games and put unnecessary pressure on the players," the AIFF statement said quoting Chaubey.
“There were situations which were unavoidable and demanded a great balancing act. It was never easy, but at the same time, I must reach out to FSDL and the clubs, thanking them for making it possible. The Indian National Team are going to the Asian Games after a nine-year gap, and it has become possible because of the active support the Indian Football received from the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports,” said the AIFF President. He once again thanked the Government of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for their support to Indian football and utmost cooperation," he further added.
India squad includes Gurmeet Singh, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Sumit Rathi, Narender Gahlot, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Samuel James, Rahul KP, Abdul Rabeeh Anjukandan, Ayush Dev Chhetri, Bryce Miranda, Azfar Noorani, Rahim Ali, Vincy Bareto, Sunil Chhetri, Rohit Danu, Gurkirat Singh, Aniket Jadhav.
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