ISL clubs unwilling to release players for Asian Games

September 13, 2023

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is hoping that the ISL clubs would release any 22 players from the registered 50 for the upcoming Asian Games, allowing the senior men’s team to participate in the continental showpiece.

Most of the clubs had shown unwillingness to release the 22 players named in the Indian squad that was released by the Sports Ministry, as the Asian Games’ football competition schedule clashes with the ISL, which starts on September 21.

The federation has also not ruled out the possibility of star players Sunil Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu travelling to Hangzhou, China, with the team for the quadrennial extravaganza.

While the Games are scheduled from September 23 to October 8, the football event will kick off on September 19 and continue till October 7.

Bengaluru FC, FC Goa and Mohun Bagan Super Giants are among clubs who are not willing to release their players for the Games.

Out of the 22 players named in the squad, six are from Bengaluru FC, three from Mumbai City FC, while FC Goa, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters have two each. Newly-promoted Punjab FC, Chennaiyin FC and Hyderabad FC have one each.

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