India announce football squad for 19th Asian Games


India Senior Men’s team Head Coach Igor Stimac announced a 22-member squad for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, to be held from September 19 to October 7, 2023. The India Men’s team are placed alongside hosts China PR, Bangladesh, and Myanmar in Group A. There are 23 teams, who have been divided into six groups.
Group A, B, C, E and F have four teams each while Group D has three teams. Twice Asian Games champions India are participating in the football event of the continental games for the first time after nine years. The Indian men’s football team has enjoyed success since the beginning of this year. Recently the Blue Tigers were crowned winners of the SAFF Championship 2023, ninth in their history, after Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made a game-changing save in the penalty shootout, to register a 5-4 victory. Throughout their campaign, they didn’t lose a single game. Earlier this year they also won the Tri-Nation Cup and the Intercontinental Cup against Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon respectively. Following their success, they also moved to the 99th position in the latest FIFA rankings. Under the management of Igor Stimac and the leadership of Sunil Chhetri India will be keen to achieve success in the Asian Games.
The participation of the Indian men’s and women’s football sides in the Hangzhou Games was earlier in doubt as per the sports ministry’s criteria of sending teams which are ranked in top-8 in the continent. The ministry later cleared both the teams by relaxing the criteria after an appeal from the AIFF. Head coach Stimac had also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter.