Igor Stimac, the Indian football team‘s national coach, on Thursday axed six players from the list of 37 who had assembled for the preparatory camp in New Delhi, which kicked off on May 21. The dropped players include Narayan Das, Salam Ranjan Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Rowllin Borges and Komal Thatal. Central defender Anwar Ali (Jr) has also been released owing to an injury. The camp, which kicked-off with 37 players on May 21, now has a strength of 25 players. A batch of six players was released earlier. Stimac, who guided Croatia to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, stated that it is always difficult for the coach to take hard decisions and release players.
“The hardest part of the job comes when decisions are to be done about releasing some of them after hard work they put in for the past ten days,” he added. He, however, added that he is satisfied with the present contingent. “We are more than happy with the commitment of the players so far and have really enjoyed working with them every day. They are passionate, excited, and are making obvious progress on a daily basis,” Stimac said.
The Blue Tigers will leave for Buriram in Thailand on June 2. The King’s Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned International ‘A’ tournament organised by the Football Association of Thailand since 1968. India’s previous participation in the coveted tournament was in 1977 and 1981.
India will play their first match against Curacao on June 5. The host Thailand will take on Vietnam in the other match on the same day. The winners of both the matches will qualify for the final, while the two other teams would be playing the play-off for the 3rd spot on June 8.