Chhetri might fail to make it into Nehru Cup squad
New Delhi: Sunil Chhetri will not be able to join the Indian national team`s preparatory camp for the Nehru Cup which is due to start from 1st August at the national capital.
The player`s manager intimated the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that Sporting Clube de Portugal `B` side play on August 12 and 19, and the India skipper may be available only after August 19.
As a result, the 27-year-old might be ruled out of the Nehru Cup since India coach Wim Koevermans is not keen on letting anyone in without having a good look at them.
"Chhetri has said he can join the team only after August 19 which means the coach will have to include him without having a good look during the preparatory camp. Koevermans does not like the idea of including any player who does not attend the preparatory camp," a senior AIFF official told TOI.
According to the report, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das has also written to the star striker and branded the situation as "unfortunate" but made it clear that he won`t make it into the team without joining the camp as scheduled.
"If Chhetri does not attend the camp, it could be difficult for him to represent the Indian team even for later tournaments. Koevermans is not in favour of long camps and is planning to conduct camps only as per Fifa guidelines. There will not be too many changes to the initial team he selects as well," a source told The Times of India.
Chhetri`s final choice is yet to be known, but Das maintained his hopes and was quoted saying, "We are waiting for a final reply from Chhetri."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who is currently attending trials with a fourth division team in Germany, is also unable to attend the camp but will be allowed to join the camp on August 5.