Indian football team head coach Stephen Constantine on Wednesday announced 34 players in the preliminary list for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2019 scheduled to kick off in the United Arab Emirates next month.
The All India Football Federation in a statement said, “All the players will be reporting to the Camp in Delhi from December 16 onwards, with a squad of 28 members flying to Abu Dhabi for the final phase of preparation on December 20.”
Before the tournament, India will play an international friendly against Oman in Abu Dhabi on December 27, 2018.
The squad will face Thailand in their first Group A match at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on January 6, 2019. They will play UAE and Bahrain in their next two fixtures on January 10 and 14 respectively.
"It is a major Championship and I am sure all the lads want to be there in the final list," Constantine stated.
The squad also included 18 U-23 players to join the seniors.
"The experience of playing in the Asian Cup will help the youngsters mature into better players. All of them have earned the right to be in the camp. I wish them luck,” he said.
This will be India's fourth appearance in the competition, the last being in Doha in 2011. India had finished runners-up to Israel in 1964. They were qualified for the second times in Singapore, 1984.
List of 34 probable players are:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith, Arindam Bhattacharya.
Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Nishu Kumar, Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sarthak Golui, Subhasish Bose, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Narayan Das.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Jackichand Singh, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Vinit Rai, Rowllin Borges, Sahal Abdul Samad, Germanpreet Singh, Komal Thatal, Bikash Jairu, Ashique Kuruniyan, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Manvir Singh, Sumeet Passi, Farukh Choudhary.