New Delhi: National football coach Stephen Constantine announced the list of 32 probables for India's forthcoming home and away matches for the preliminary joint qualification round 1 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Nepal.
The matches would be played on a home and away format and India first host Nepal on March 12 at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in Sajusarai, Guwahati while the return leg is slated to be played in Nepal on March 17.
"With the help of Savio Medeira and Venkatesh we first registered the list of 50 Players and then Venky and myself sat down to select 32 players for the Camp," Constantine said.
The squad would be further shortlisted to 26 after the completion of round 8 matches of the ongoing Hero Indian I-League. The shortlisted 26 would be reporting to the camp in Guwahati from March 4 onwards.
"We hope to send a message to everybody who has an Indian nationality that they have a chance to play for the national team. I am really excited and looking forward to it."
"We won't get everybody together in the camp at the same time. There's a Hero I-League match on March 4 and hopefully, everyone would assemble by the next day, i.e., March 5."
Meanwhile, the list of 32 players who would be reporting to the preparatory camp in Goa (from March 1) for the AFC U-23 Championship slated to be played in Dhaka from March 27 have also been announced.
Probables for World Cup qualifier:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Karanjit Singh (both Salgaocar SC), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Stabek FC), Arindam Bhattacharya (Kalyani Bharat Football Club).
Defenders: Keegan Pereira, Rino Anto (both Bengaluru FC), Shaumik Dey, Raju Gaikwad, Arnab Mondal (Kingfisher East Bengal), Aiborlang Khongjee (Shillong Lajong Football Club), Sandesh Jhingan (Sporting Clube de Goa), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Augstine Fernandes (Salgaocar SC), Pritam Kotal (McDowell Mohun Bagan).
Midfielders: Prabir Das, Francis Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues (all Dempo SC), Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Anthony D'Souza (both Bengaluru FC), Mehtab Hossain, Cabin Lobo, Lalrindika Ralte (all Kingfisher East Bengal), Dhanapal Ganesh (Pune FC).
Forwards: Mandar Rao Desai, Romeo Fernandes, Alwyn George, Holicharan Narzary (all Dempo SC), Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh (both Bengaluru FC), Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua (both McDowell Mohun Bagan), Jackichand Singh (Royal Wahingdoh).