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11 Asian Cup players axed

New Delhi: Indian football coach Bob Houghton, on Thursday, dropped 11 players from the Asian Cup squad for next month’s AFC Challenge Cup, which is to be held in Malaysia or Laos.

The British coach, who sent a list of 44 probables to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), chose to ignore some key players from the Asian Cup team including, Deepak Mondal, Surkumar Singh, Rennedy Singh, Climax Lawrence, NP Pradeep and Abhishek Yadav.

Also to be overlooked are goalkeeper Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, defender Mahesh Gawli, midfielders Clifford Miranda, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and striker Mohammed Rafi. Captain Bhaichung Bhutia had earlier ruled himself out of the selection because of a nagging calf muscle injury.

AIFF sources, however, said that Houghton had given rest to some of the main players before World Cup qualifiers, which will be played in June.

Only 10 players from the Asian Cup squad have found berths in Houghton’s list of probable players, who are likely to undergo a short camp in Goa in March.

Houghton once again overlooked the in-form players of the ongoing I-League and picked up players from the age group teams coached by two other British coaches, Colin Toal and Desmod Bulpin. East Bengal striker Robin Singh, however, has been called to the camp.

The probables

Subrata Paul, Arindam Bhattacharya, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Denzil Franco, Gourmangi Singh, Anwar Ali, Mohanraj, Nirmal Chhetri, Govin Singh, Syed Rahim Nabi, N.S. Manju, Raju Gaikwad, Steven Dias, Joaquim Abranches, Baldip Singh, Jagpreet Singh, Rakesh Masih, Jewel Raja, Shilton D’Silva, Sunil Chhetri, Sushil Kumar Singh , C.S. Sabeeth, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Jagroop Singh, Ravi Kumar, Vishal Kumar, Abhishek Das, Deepak Devrani, Inderpreet Singh, Souvik Ghosh, Lalrozama Fanai, Pratamesh Moulingkar, Akshay Kumar Mall, Subodh Kumar, Milan Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Lalrindika Ralte, Trithankar Sarkar, Jibon Singh, Manandeep, Robin Singh, Holicharan Narzary, Malswamfela and Jagtar Singh.

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