New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) A 27-member Indian football team sans skipper Sunil Chhetri, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, will leave for Dubai on Monday for a preparatory camp ahead of the side's upcoming international friendlies against Oman and UAE.
While the match against Oman is scheduled for March 25, the game against UAE is slated to be played on March 29. Both the fixtures will be held in Dubai.
The Blue Tigers last played at the international level in November 2019, in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Chhetri, the highest Indian goal-scorer in international football with 72 strikes, won't be able to travel since he has contracted the dreaded virus. The 36-year-old is currently recovering and is in self isolation.
Head Coach Igor Stimac stated: 'It is such a relief that we are all assembling together and gearing up for international action.
'There are a lot of new faces in the squad and it is time for hard work for all of them – in fact, for all in the camp. We need to check how they respond and how bright is our future with them,' he added.
The coach also mentioned that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai weren't available for selection as they are undergoing rehabilitation at the moment.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh.
Defenders: Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mashoor Shereef.
Midfielders: Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad, Suresh Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Ishan Pandita, Hitesh Sharma, Liston Colaco. PTI APA AH AH