Sunil Chhetri rested as Indian Football team announces squad for King's Cup
As the Indian national football team gears up for the King's Cup tournament, a notable absence looms as Sunil Chhetri takes a break to be present for the birth of his first child.
India's national football team, in preparation for the upcoming King's Cup tournament, will see the absence of captain Sunil Chhetri, who is taking time off to be present for the birth of his first child. In Chhetri's stead, Manvir Singh will take charge of leading the forward line. The King's Cup, a four-nation competition played in a knockout format, is scheduled to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from September 7-10. While Chhetri is set to return for the Asian Games, India's team head coach Igor Stimac has announced a well-rounded 23-member squad for the 49th edition of the tournament. Alongside Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali and Rahul KP will also spearhead the attack. Notably, the return of Brandon Fernandes and Suresh Wangjam adds depth to the squad, even in the absence of Chhetri.
INDIA SQUAD | 49th Kings Cup 🇹🇭— IndiaSportsHub (@IndiaSportsHub) August 29, 2023
Indian squad for the upcoming trip to Thailand is announced.
✨No Sunil Chhetri is the squad as he requested to skip ⏭️
How will that effect Indian chances at the cup
India play Iraq on 7th Sept pic.twitter.com/mvsTIXq3ZC
Experienced campaigners Sandesh Jhingan and Subhasish Bose will anchor the defence, while the midfield lineup features established players like Anirudh Thapa, Roshan Naorem Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Brandon.
The goalkeeping position will be contested by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Amrinder Singh.
Ranked 99th in the world, India is slated to face Iraq (ranked 70th) in the semi-final match on September 7. On the same day, hosts Thailand (ranked 113th) will clash with Lebanon (ranked 100th) in the other semi-final. The victors of the semi-finals will compete for the championship title on September 10, while the teams that fall short will contend for third place.
Recalling their previous participation in the King's Cup in 2019, India secured a bronze medal.
The 23-member squad:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh.
Defenders: Asish Rai, Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Mehtab Singh, Lalchungnunga, Akash Mishra, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Brandon Fernandes, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, Rohit Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Rahul KP.