Talismanic India captain Sunil Chhetri has returned to action after recovering from COVID-19 and will lead Bengaluru FC in their AFC Cup second leg preliminary match on April 14. The Bengaluru-based team on Thursday named a 29-member squad for the game against the Nepalese. Tribhuvan Army FC side, a day after the detection of three cases of COVID-19 among the players and staff. Five players from the reserve squad have been named to the squad as head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli prepares for his first game in charge of the Blues.
“Skipper Sunil Chhetri will lead the team in a seventh season of continental football, the 36-year-old having joined the team in Goa where preparations for the campaign are well underway,” the club said in a statement.
Chhetri had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11 and announced he recovered from the infection on March 28.
He missed India’s two international friendlies against Oman and the United Arab Emirates in Dubai due to the COVID-19 infection. India drew 1-1 at Oman as they suffered an embarrassing 0-6 at the hands of the United Arab Emirates.
Gabonese defender Yrondu Musavu-King is the latest addition to the Blues’ foreign contingent as he joins Juanan Gonzalez, Cleiton Silva and Erik Paartalu in the squad for the qualifying campaign.
The club’s reserve graduates include goalkeeper Sharon Padattil, midfielders Damaitphang Lyngdoh and Muhammad Inayath, as well as strikers Akashdeep Singh and Sivasakthi Narayanan.
The game at the GMC Stadium here will be played behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the club announced that three people had tested positive for the virus during the camp, which began on April 5.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Lalthuammawia Ralte, Lara Sharma, Sharon Padattil.
Defenders: Rahul Bheke, Pratik Chaudhari, Juan Gonzalez, Wungngayam Muirang, Ajith Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Joe Zoherliana, Parag Shrivas, Yrondu Musavu-King, Biswa Darjee.
Midfielders: Erik Paartalu, Suresh Wangjam, Harmanjot Khabra, Namgyal Bhutia, Emanuel Lalchhanchuaha, Damaitphang Lyngdoh, Muhammad Inayath.
Attackers: Sunil Chhetri, Edmund Lalrindika, Udanta Singh, Cleiton Silva, Leon Augustine, Naorem Roshan Singh, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Akashdeep Singh.
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