Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian men's football team / (Image - All India Football Federation)
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced a revised 17-member Indian men's football team on September 13 for the Asian Games 2023, set to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.
Initially, the AIFF had announced a 22-player squad in August, featuring renowned striker Sunil Chhetri. However, the team was reduced to 17 members in its most recent iteration.
Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and defender Sandesh Jhingan, the two senior players in the first team to Hangzhou have been left out of the final roster. Sunil Chhetri, on the other hand, will lead the team.
The final lineup of the squad includes Sunil Chhetri (captain) 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, Rohit Danu, Gurkirat Singh, and Aniket Jadhav.
Since 2002, the Asian Games men's football competition has been an under-23 affair, with each country allowing a maximum of three players above the age of 23. The updated roster was released after Indian teams reportedly voiced worries about releasing players for the continental meet amid a busy football calendar, both domestic and international.
India, ranked 99th in the most recent FIFA rankings, will be the second-best-ranked team in their group, trailing only China (80th). Myanmar is ranked 160th, and Bangladesh is ranked 189th.
The Indian men's football team won gold medals in the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1951 and Jakarta in 1962, as well as bronze in Bangkok in 1970.