Chhetri rested as Stimac names 23-member squad for King’s Cup

03:21 PM Aug 29, 2023 | PTI |

India will be without skipper Sunil Chhetri in the upcoming King’s Cup football tournament and leading the forward line in his absence will be Manvir Singh.


Star striker Chhetri has been rested for the tournament so that he could be present for the birth of his first child. The four-nation tournament, which will be played in knockout format, will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from September 7-10. Chhetri will however be back in the Indian team for the Asian Games.

India team head coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday announced a 23-member squad for the 49th edition of the tournament. Manvir will have Rahim Ali and Rahul KP for company upfront.

Brandon Fernandes and Suresh Wangjam return to the national side, which looks quite balanced even in Chhetri’s absence. The defence will be manned by seasoned campaigners Sandesh Jhingan and Subhasish Bose, while the midfield comprises proven players such as Anirudh Thapa, Roshan Naorem Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad and Brandon. Gurpreet Singh Sadhu or Amrinder Singh will be at the goal. India (ranked 99th) will face Iraq (ranked 70th) in the semi-final on September 7. Hosts Thailand (ranked 113th) take on Lebanon (ranked 100th) in the other semi-final on the same day.

The semi-final winners will contest the final on September 10, while the losers will play the third-place play-off.


India won bronze when they last participated in the King’s Cup in 2019.

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.

Head coach: Igor Stimac.


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