Intercontinental Cup 2018: Indian football team dealt huge blow as Souvik Chakrabarti is ruled out
Just a week before the Intercontinental Cup kicks off, the Indian national football team has been dealt a huge blow as Souvik Chakrabarti has been ruled out of the tournament. The versatile 26-year-old has contracted chicken pox and has already left the national team camp, AIFF confirmed to Sportskeeda. It has also been learnt that no replacement will be named.
Souvik impressed at right-back for Jamshedpur FC in the recently concluded Indian Super League (ISL) as his team finished fifth in their debut season. He was a regular in the line-up, clocking 1620 minutes of football for the TATA Steel-owned team.
Owing to his performances, the Mohun Bagan Academy product was called up for the 30-man preliminary squad by Stephen Constantine and was in line to possibly make his debut in the national colours. Souvik is a versatile addition to any team, the ability to play as an attacking midfielder, central midfielder, left-back or right-back and Constantine will definitely feel his absence.
Team India kick off their campaign in the four-team tournament against Chinese Taipei on 1st June at the Mumbai Football Arena. They will then take on Kenya on 4th June before facing New Zealand on 7th June. The final is scheduled to be held on 10th June.
The team is currently camping in Mumbai ahead of the tournament which is being organised as part of the preparation for the AFC Asian Cup to be held next year in the UAE 2019.
Constantine has described the Intercontinental Cup as a "very important tournament for development". Speaking at a press conference, he said, "The Intercontinental Cup is a very important tournament for our progression and development. It is good that New Zealand are coming as they have a strong team."