Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua made a return as India named a 23-man squad for the AFC Challenge Cup football qualifiers which begins on March 2 in Yangon, Myanmar. (In file pic on the left: Gouramangi Singh)
The squad named by head coach Wim Koevermans was on expected lines, except for the inclusion of Jeje, who had been sidelined for nearly seven months since being dropped from the Nehru Cup squad in August last year. East Bengal striker Robin Singh also found a place in the squad.
India have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Chinese Taipei and Guam in Group A. They play Chinese Taipei in their first match on March 2 followed by matches against Guam and hosts Myanmar on March 4 and March 6 respectively.
The squad would leave Mumbai tomorrow night and reach Yangon on Tuesday.
Twenty countries have been divided into five groups of four with the quartet playing against each other in a one-round league in a centralised venue. The five group winners and two best second-placed teams will join host nation Maldives at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup finals.
Meanwhile, the All India Football Federation has agreed to allow players from Churchill Brothers and East Bengal to join the national squad later on after playing their away AFC Cup ties on February 26 and 27 respectively.
The four Churchill Brothers players -- Sandip Nandy, Denzil Franco, Lenny Rodrigues and Sunil Chhetri -- would join the rest of squad on February 27 while the two East Bengal players -- Raju Gaikwad and Robin -- would join the squad in Yangon on February 28.
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Sandip Nandy, Karanjit Singh
Defenders: Nirmal Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Denzil Franco, Gouramangi Singh, Rowilson Rodrigues, Shouvik Ghosh, Raju Gaikwad, Gurjinder Singh
Midfielders: Lenny Rodrigues, Lalkamal Bhowmick, C K Vineet, Arata Izumi, Mehtab Hossain, Francisco Fernandes, Alwyn George, Jewel Raja Shaikh, Clifford Miranda
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua.