Koevarmans makes 10 changes, leaves out IMG-R players

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) India football coach Wim Koevermans has made 10 changes to the national team for the two friendlies against the Philippines (Nov 15) and Nepal (Nov 19) leaving out most of the players who were contracted with IMG-Reliance.

While the coach remained incommunicado, a top official in the All India Football Federation (AIFF) told IANS that the IMG-Reliance players were left out due to lack of match practice.

"The coach had no other option but to drop the players with IMG-R because they haven't played much. But he has also left out other players, who are playing in the I-League as well," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

IMG-R had to postpone the much awaited Indian Super League for the second time by six months due to unavailability of players. The decision left most of the players without any club since the I-League clubs were against signing any IMG-R contracted player.

The players who have been dropped are Nirmal Chettri, Subrata Paul, Syed Nabi, Gouramangi Singh, Sandesh Jhingan (IMG-Reliance), Jewel Raja, Alwyn George and Jeje Lalepkhlua (Dempo SC), Nallapan Mohanraj (Mumbai Tigers) and Sandip Nandy (Mohun Bagan).

Paul has been India's No.1 goalkeeper while Nabi has been exceptional with the national side in the last two years.

East Bengal, who were the AFC Cup semi-finalists, are the most represented club.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar FC), Subhashish Roychowdhury (Dempo SC), Arindam Bhattacharya (Churchill Brothers).

Defenders: Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers), Nicolau Colaco (Salgaocar FC), Arnab Mondal (East Bengal), Aibhorlang Khongjee (Mohun Bagan), Raju Gaikwad (East Bengal), Gurjinder Kumar (Pune FC), Narayan Das (Dempo SC).

Mid-fielders: Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal), Lenny Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers), Lalrindika Ralte (East Bengal), Arata Izumi (Pune FC), Francis Fernandes (Salgaocar FC), Clifford Miranda (Dempo SC), CK Vineeth (United SC, Victorino (Sporting Clube de Goa).

Forwards: Dawson Fernandes (Sporting Clube de Goa), Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh (Bengaluru FC).

Stand-byes: Shilton Paul, Rowilson Rodrigues, Gurwinder Singh, Shouvik Ghosh, Rocus Lamare, Malswamtulunga, Tsewang Karma, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Denson Devdas.

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