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Skipper Chhetri makes a return to the squad

Indian team leaves for joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Doha

Captain Sunil Chhetri made a return after recovering from COVID-19 as a 28-member Indian football squad leaves for Doha on Wednesday for the three matches of the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

The team will have a preparatory camp inside a bio-bubble in Doha before its first match on June 3 against host Qatar.

After missing the two international friendlies against Oman and the UAE on March 25 and 29, Chhetri is set to feature in the forthcoming games.

As per the health parameters required to travel to Qatar, all the players and staff will carry with them negative results from the RT-PCR COVID-19 tests conducted during the last 48 hours.

Prior to their departure, all of them were serving quarantine in the national capital since May 15.

Lone new face

FC Goa midfielder Glan Martins is the lone face to make it to the squad for the first time, while the likes of winger Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Pronoy Halder and Abdul Sahal also return to the national team setup.

Three goalkeepers

Head coach Igor Stimac opted for three goalkeepers even as Subhasish Roy Chowdhury missed out.

India, fourth in Group E with three points, is already out of contention for a World Cup berth but it is still in the reckoning for the 2023 Asian Cup in China.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh.

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose.

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan.

Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.

India’s fixtures:

June 3: Vs. Qatar (10.30 p.m. IST); June 7: Vs. Bangladesh (7.30 p.m.); June 15: Vs. Afghanistan (7.30 p.m.).

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