In a significant development for Indian football enthusiasts, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has unveiled a 17-member squad set to represent the nation at the upcoming Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China. The announcement, made on September 13, 2023, underscores the AIFF's commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a strong national team.
The AIFF expressed its heartfelt gratitude to the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs and the Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) for their unwavering support and cooperation in releasing players for the Asian Games. This collaboration demonstrates the collective effort to bolster the Indian Football Team's prospects on the international stage.
Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, the President of AIFF, acknowledged the demanding nature of the current football season in India. He remarked, "It has been a hectic time for Indian football this season. We have had to manage a tight schedule within a short period, which was no small feat."
President Chaubey shed light on the multitude of events unfolding on both domestic and international fronts. While the Senior National Men's Team successfully completed a series of matches, they are eagerly anticipating their participation in the Asian Games, followed by the Merdeka Cup, World Cup Qualifiers, and the AFC Asian Cup.
There have been too many things happening, both at the domestic and the international level, involving India's National Teams, as well as the ISL clubs. While the Senior National Men's Team successfully completed playing a series of matches, they are also awaiting to play the Asian Games, followed by Merdeka Cup, World Cup Qualifiers, and the AFC Asian CupKalyan Chaubey
On the home front, the football clubs are also dealing with more matches and obligations in Asian competitions. Mr Chaubey stressed that in the midst of these challenges, changes were needed to consider upcoming general elections and bad weather in some areas. This made sure that the games stayed good and didn't put too much stress on the players.
Despite these difficult challenges, President Chaubey expressed his thanks to FSDL and the clubs for their important role in overcoming these obstacles. He highlighted the important role of the Government of India, specifically the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in allowing the Indian National Team to participate in the Asian Games after a nine-year break. The AIFF President repeated his gratitude for the Government's strong support and cooperation, which shows their dedication to Indian football.
"There were situations which were unavoidable and demanded a great balancing act. It was never easy, but at the same time, I must reach out to FSDL and the clubs, thanking them for making it possible. The Indian National Team are going to the Asian Games after a nine-year gap, and it has become possible because of the active support the Indian Football received from the Government of India, especially the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports," Kalyan Chaubey added.
Mr. Chaubey expressed his unwavering confidence in the Indian team's ability to perform exceptionally well at the Asian Games, asserting that their success will propel Indian football to new heights.
The 17-member squad announced by the AIFF comprises the following talented players: