The All India Football Federation today announced the final 23 player squad for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup to be played from January 7 to 29 in Qatar. The deadline of sending the final squad was tomorrow, but the AIFF send their final list one day in advance.
And there aren't any such surprises in the squad with Baichung Bhutia named as its captain. That was the big worry if Baichung would be available for selection or not. Missing the tournament due to injuries are goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya, defender Samir Naik and winger Anthony Pereira. Arindam has been replaced by young Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as East Bengal did not release seasoned Sandip Nandy.
Others missing out from the 30 players preparatory squad are defender Nallappan Mohanraj; midfielders James Lukram Singh, Jagpreet Singh, Baljit Singh Sahni; and striker M. Mohammed Rafi.
In a positive but surprise move Raul Fernandes, the organiser of the training camps in Dubai, has been named as manager for the Asian Cup while AIFF vice-President Subrata Dutta will also accompany the team as Chef de Mission and Larsing L Sawayan as Head of Delegation.
Subrata Pal (Pune FC), Subhasish Roy Choudhury (Dempo SC), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (AIFF XI)
Anwar (Dempo SC), Mahesh Gawli (Dempo SC), Deepak Kumar Mondal (Mohun Bagan AC), Nanjangud Shivananju Manju (Mohun Bagan AC), Rakesh Masih (Mohun Bagan AC),Syed Rahim Nabi (East Bengal Club), Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh (Churchill Brothers SC), Govin Moirangthem Singh (East Bengal Club), Irungbam Surkumar Singh (Mohun Bagan AC)
Steven Benedic Dias (Churchill Brothers SC), Climax Lawrence (Dempo SC), Clifford Miranda (Dempo SC), Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep (Mahindra United), Baldeep Singh Jr (JCT), Potsangbam Renedy Singh (East Bengal Club), Mehrajuddin Wadao (East Bengal Club)
Baichung Bhutia (Captain - East Bengal Club), Sunil Chhetri (Kansas City Wizards), Sushil Kumar Singh (East Bengal Club), Abhishek Yadav (Mumbai FC)
Robert Douglas Houghton (Chief Coach), Savio Medeira (Assistant Coach), Antonio Marcus Pacheco (Goalkeeper Coach), Suresh Babu (Physical Trainer), Dr. Gagan Kapoor (Physiotherapist), Liaqat Ali (Masseur), Sanjay Kumar (Media Manager), Raul Fernandes (Manager), Subrata Dutta (Chef de Mission), Larsing L Sawayan (Head of Delegation)