The Indian football squad departed the country on Sunday for the Asian Games in China without the defenders Konsam Chinglensana Singh and Lalchungnunga since their visas were not yet available. A top IOA official assured them that they would receive their travel documents in a day or two.
The Indian football squad departed the country on Sunday for the Asian Games in China without the defenders Konsam Chinglensana Singh and Lalchungnunga since their visas were not yet available. A top IOA official assured them that they would receive their travel documents in a day or two. Chinglensana and Lalchungnunga did receive their accreditation even though they were named in the 22-member team that was named at the last minute. It appears that they were not on the first lengthy list of 50 players that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) submitted for the Asian Games.
Any worries about the two players not competing in the Asian Games were allayed by India’s Chef de Mission for the games, Bhupinder Singh Bajwa. However, they won’t be eligible for the opening game against China on Tuesday.
“Kalyan Chaubey, the president of the AIFF, and I have requested an express visa for the two players with a letter from the sports ministry; the visa should arrive tomorrow or the day after. According to the Chinese embassy, a regular visa takes seven days to process, while a fast visa only takes two,” Bajwa told PTI.
They “will go (to China) with the expedited visa and will receive their accreditation there. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any issues for the two players, he continued.
Igor Stimac, the head coach of India, had earlier in the day stated that after arriving at the Games Village on Monday, his side will play a formidable Chinese team on Tuesday since the AIFF was able to assemble a second-rung roster at the last minute due to the Indian Super League teams’ refusal to release certain players.
After the encounter against China on September 19, India’s group fixtures are against Bangladesh on September 21 and Myanmar on September 24. Four of the top-ranked third-place teams will also go to the pre-quarterfinals along with the top two teams from each of the six groups.
Sandesh Jhingan and starter Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were two of the 13 players who were initially retained by their respective ISL clubs. Initially, a 17-person team with Sunil Chhetri as the lone recognisable face was announced.
After frantic negotiations, the AIFF revealed a 22-player roster on Friday that included Jhingan as well as two more experienced players in Chinglensana Singh and Lalchungnunga.