Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Indian National team following their 2-1 loss at the hands of Guam in the World Cup qualifiers. One of the most intriguing issues to arise from this episode was whether Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) should play for India.Manager Stephen Constantine seems to be siding with the pro-PIO side of the story. Whether or not the AIFF is able to resolve this matter, it is a story that will keep the football fraternity interested for a long time to come.We look at the five such players who can play for the team and be influential in doing so.
#1 Harmeet Singh - Norway
Position: Defensive Midfielder
International appearances: 7
Born in Norway, this 24-year-old was named in a list of 100 greatest talents in the world back in 2010. He started off his career with Valerenga in Norway coming through their youth ranks. He broke into the first team in 2007 and went on to make over a century of appearances for the Norwegian side. In 2012, he moved to the Dutch Eredivisie with Feyenoord.
Following a lack of opportunity, Singh moved back to Norway with Molde. In his two years with Molde, he has already amassed 49 appearances for the club.
On the international level, Singh has played for Norway in every age category starting from the U-15's to the U-21's. He made his debut for the senior team in 2009 and has gone on to make six more appearances.
Singh was quoted saying, “If India want me to play for them, then it would be no problem for me to sit down with them and discuss it. There has never been an approach, and I don't even know whether I could play for them because I don't have an Indian passport.
“I have the life-long visa, but not a passport.” He operates as a defensive midfielder and since India have only Dhanpal Ganesh in that position Harmeet might actually have a shot at playing for India.