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AFC Asian Cup 2019: The Indian-origin XI that could have represented India

Liverpool prospect Yan Dhanda (left) and Aryn Williams of NEROCA FC
Liverpool prospect Yan Dhanda (left) and Aryn Williams of NEROCA FC
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 10 Dec 2018, 17:44 IST
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FIFA national team eligibility rules state that a player must either be a citizen of the country, born in a country or, have biological ties to the country to represent the team. So, if a player is playing in the Premier League, but was born in India or, one of his parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were Indian, he could represent India.

However, the government of India prevents them from turning up for the Indian national team. According to them, you must have an Indian passport to represent the country. Arata Izumi and Sunny Dhaliwal were only allowed to represent the Tricolor once they changed their nationality.

One ought to note that there is an exception to this rule. The players who have already represented their nation in official competitions like FIFA World Cup Qualifiers or Continental Championships like AFC Asian Cup, African Cup of Nations, or COPA America and their qualifiers are forbidden to represent another country.

As a result, players like Harmeet Singh, Luciano Narsingh (both Netherlands), Neil Taylor (Wales), and Rhys Williams (Australia) are ineligible to represent India.

We, at Sportskeeda, have compiled a playing XI that could have represented India in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup only taking the FIFA Eligibility rules into account.

If the government amends the rules and allows players of Indian-origin to represent the nation, some of these players could be in our playing XI.


#1 Goalkeeper - Karman Saini

Karman Saini currently plies his trade in the Swedish fourth division
Karman Saini currently plies his trade in the Swedish fourth division

Karman Saini is an Indian-origin Canadian who currently plies his trade for Swedish fourth-division side Husqvarna FF. The 22-year-old is studying sports management in Canada besides pursuing a career in football.

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The Indian team doesn't have a dearth of talent in the goalkeeping department. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu himself has played in the UEFA Europa League Qualifiers for Norweigan top-division club Stabaek.

Moreover, the level of ISL is way more rigorous than the Swedish fourth division. Even if Karman Saini had shown an interest to represent India, he has to toil hard to make it to the national team.

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Published 10 Dec 2018, 17:42 IST
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