New Delhi: Eight players from Goa's Dempo Sports Club feature in the list of 32 probables announced by new Indian football chief coach Stephen Constantine Wednesday for India's forthcoming home and away matches against Nepal in the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
India first host Nepal March 12 at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in Sajusarai, Guwahati while the return leg is slated to be played in Nepal on March 17.
The list includes six players from East Bengal, five from Bengaluru FC and three each from Mohun Bagan and Salgaocar.
"We first registered a list of 50 players and then sat down to select 32 players for the camp," said Constantine.
The squad would be further shortlisted to 26 after the completion of Round 8 matches of the ongoing I-League. The shortlisted 26 would be reporting to the Camp in Guwahati from March 4.
"We hope to send a message to everybody who has an Indian nationality that they have a chance to play for the national team. I am really excited and looking forward to it."
"We won't get everybody together in the Camp at the same time. There's a I-League match March 4 and hopefully, everyone would assemble by the next day, i.e., March 5."
Meanwhile, the list of 32 Players who would be reporting to the Preparatory Camp in Goa (from March 1) for the AFC Under-23 Championship slated to be played in Dhaka from March 27 have also been announced.
The list of the 32 probables for the home and away matches of the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia:
Goalkeepers: Subrata Paul, Karanjit Singh (both Salgaocar SC), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Stabek FC), Arindam Bhattacharya (Kalyani Bharat Football Club).
Defenders: Keegan Pereira, Rino Anto (both Bengaluru FC), Shaumik Dey, Raju Gaikwad, Arnab Mondal (East Bengal), Aiborlang Khongjee (Shillong Lajong Football Club), Sandesh Jhingan (Sporting Clube de Goa), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Augstine Fernandes (Salgaocar SC), Pritam Kotal (Mohun Bagan).
Midfielders: Prabir Das, Francis Fernandes, Lenny Rodrigues (all Dempo SC), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (Bengaluru FC), Anthony D'Souza (Pune FC), Mehtab Hossain, Cabin Lobo, Lalrindika Ralte (all East Bengal), Dhanapal Ganesh (Pune FC).
Forwards: Mandar Rao Desai, Romeo Fernandes, Alwyn George, Holicharan Narzary (all Dempo SC), Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh (both Bengaluru FC), Balwant Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua (both Mohun Bagan) and Jackichand Singh (Royal Wahingdoh).
Head Coach: Stephen Constantine.
The list of 32 probables for the Preparatory Camp for the AFC U-23 Championship:
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh (Pune FC), Albino Gomes (Salgaocar SC), Ravi Kumar (Sporting Clube de Goa), Reenesh TP (Kalyani Bharat Football Club).
Defenders: Abhishek Das (Kingfisher East Bengal), Satish Singh, Zangpo Bhutia (both McDowell Mohun Bagan), Shankar (Bengaluru FC), Bikramjit Singh (Kalyani Bharat Football Club), Pawan Kumar (Salgaocar SC), Sandeep Singh, Nimdorjee Tamang (Shillong Lajong Football Club), Deepak (Bhowanipore SC), Denechandra Meitei.
Midfielders: Germanpreet Singh, Myron Fernandes, Vineet Rai (all Dempo SC), Manish Bhargav (McDowell Mohun Bagan), Siam Hangal (Bengaluru FC), Brandon Fernandes, Sumit Passi, Mauvin Borges (all Sporting Clube de Goa), Fanai Lalrempuia (Pune Football Club), Adarsh Tamang (McDowell Mohun Bagan).
Forwards: Seiminlen Doungel (Shillong Lajong Football Club), Udanta Singh (Bengaluru Football Club), Nadong Bhutia (Royal Wahingdoh), Haokip Thongkoshim (Pune FC), Jayesh Rane (Mumbai Football Club), Rajinder Kumar (Kalyani Bharat Football Club), Nikhil Kadam (Pune FC), Abhinash Rui Das (Kingfisher East Bengal).