The support for our Indian football team matters the most to us and so we are doing our bit to bring out the latest news for the fans of our national team.
Here's our live blog specially dedicated to all the latest LIVE news and happenings in Indian football, for the national team as well as Indian Super League and I-League.
Here we go....
Indian national football team's camp kicks off in Kolkata
Indian men's senior national football team's camp under the supervision of Igor Stimac has begun for the upcoming international friendlies against Nepal.
Why this news is special is because the national football team returned to Kolkata as a camp after 15 years.
The 24 players part of the camp are as follows:
GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Vishal Kaith
DEFENDERS: Ashish Rai, Seriton Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Chinglensana Singh, Narender, Akash Mishra, Mandar Rao Dessai
MIDFIELDERS: Bipin Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Glan Martins, Jeakson Singh, Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Yasir Mohammed, Halicharan Narzary
FORWARDS: Rahul KP, Farukh Choudhary, Ishan Pandita, Rahim Ali
Odisha FC sign Aridai Cabrera
Indian Super League club Odisha FC have signed Spanish winger Aridai Cabrera for the upcoming Indian Super League.
After signing for Odisha FC, Aridai said, "I am very happy to sign for Odisha FC and I am really excited to play in India. I want to meet my teammates soon and start preparing for the upcoming season. We will definitely make sure that Odisha FC does well in the next [Hero] ISL."
Head Coach Kiko Ramirez commented, "Aridai is an electric player who can change the game with the magic that is needed in football. He is a footballer with very refined technical quality and capable of surpassing the opponents with his feints. He is a dribbler and with his speed, we can say that he is a different footballer. If he is motivated and people are with him, he can have a big impact in the [Hero] ISL."
OFC Club President Mr Raj Athwal said, "We are delighted to capture the signing of Aridai after beating off interest from elsewhere to get him. He is a skilful and exciting player, who has knowledge and experience in the game, and will be invaluable to the younger members of our squad."
ATK Mohun Bagan's squad revealed for the AFC Cup
Arindam Bhattacharja, Amrinder Singh, Pritam Kotal, Lenny Rodrigues, Subhasish Bose, Avilash Paul, Ashutosh Mehta, Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, Deepak Tangri, Sumit Rathi, SK Sahil, Bidyananda Singh, Abhishek Suryavanshi, Kiyan Nassiri Giri, N Engson Singh, Ricky John Shabong, Roy Krishna and Carl McHugh, David Williams and Hugo Boumous
Head coach: Antonio Lopez Habas.
Eli Sabia joins Jamshedpur FC
Sabia left Chennaiyin FC to join Jamshedpur FC.
The 32-year-old Brazilian centre-back was the backbone of Chennaiyin's defence in the past three seasons.
He becomes the third Chennaiyin player to join Coyle at Jamshedpur following Nerijus Valskis and Laldinliana Renthlei.
Times of India cite a source who confirmed the transfer stating, "Coyle is a big admirer of Eli Sabia and believes he will add to the team's strength considerably. It's no surprise that they will be working again (at Jamshedpur)"
Ogbeche joins Hyderabad FC
Bartholomew Ogbeche has left Mumbai City FC and joined Hyderabad FC for the 2021-22 Indian Super League season.
Hugo Boumous joins ATK Mohun Bagan from Mumbai City FC
ATK Mohun Bagan completed the signing of Hugo Boumous on Thursday.
25-year-old Boumous played a crucial role in Mumbai City FC's ISL title win last season and becomes ATK MB's sixth signing of the season following Liston Colaco, Amrinder Singh, Joni Kauko, Deepak Tangri and Ashutosh Mehta.
Chennaiyin FC sign Debjit Majumder
Two time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC have signed goalkeeper Debjit Majumder for the 2021-22 season.
Majumder was a key part of the East Bengal side in the ISL last season and came up with 50 saves throughout the season in 15 appearances he made for the club.
Sharing his excitement on joining CFC, Debjit said, “I’m really excited to play for Chennaiyin FC and keen to perform and contribute to bring its third title. Vishal is a good goalkeeper and he has been doing well for the last two seasons, so it will be healthy competition in the team. We both will look to bring good results for the team. I’m also looking forward to working closely with the youngsters in the club and passing on the experience.”
Vincy Barretto joins Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters announced the signing of Vincy Barretto on a three-year deal from Gokulam Kerala.
Essentially a winger, 21-year-old Barretto had a stint with FC Goa before joining Gokulam. Prior to signing with the Blasters, Barretto spent a season at Hero I-League team Gokulam Kerala FC in 2020 for whom he made 13 appearances.
“I am glad to represent Kerala once again. I have always heard about the fan base that Kerala Blasters FC has and I am really excited to be part of the team and experience that. I look forward to growing personally and showing my best performance on the field for KBFC,” said Barretto after joining the club.
“We are happy to have this young talent, Vincy Barretto in the team. Barretto is a promising player with high potential. With his pace and versatility, he has procured an identity of his own within a short span of time. I wish him all the very best and extend my full support in his football career,” said Karolis Skinkys, Sporting Director, Kerala Blasters FC.
Isaac Vanmalsawma joins Odisha FC
Odisha FC have signed 24-year-old Isaac Vanmalsawma ahead of the new Indian Super League season.
He signed a two-year deal with the club and has an option to extend it by another year.
After signing for the club, Isaac said, "I am delighted to join this young and exciting team. We will play vibrant and entertaining football, delighting our loyal fans who have been with us every step of the way. I want to assure them that, neither I nor the team will ever give up and will keep fighting till the final whistle. I would like to thank the Odisha FC management for this opportunity, and I shall work hard to repay the faith that they have shown in me."
New I-League club Sreenidhi Deccan Football Club launched in Visakhapatnam
The Sreenidi Deccan FC, the latest entrants into the Hero I-League this season, was launched on Wednesday (July 7, 2021), in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
I-League's entire season to be held in Kolkata
Sunando Dhar apprised the AIFF League Committee that the I-League will be played among 13 teams this season as compared to 12 from last season.
He said, “We are looking at a tentative date of mid-December onwards for kicking off the I-League. We are in talks with the Indian Football Association (Bengal), and also the Government of West Bengal to successfully organise the League in Kolkata and its suburbs like the last edition,”
Dhar added, "The format of the League will be the same as the last edition with all teams playing each other once, and then divided into two groups. While the top half vying for the Championship will comprise 7 teams, the bottom half which will be battling it out for the relegation will have 6 teams. The number of matches will also be more this edition – a rise from 80 to 114."
Finland's Joni Kauko signs for ATK Mohun Bagan
Finland star Joni Kauko, who played for his country at the Euro 2020 will soon be seen donning the Green-Maroon jersey of ATK Mohun Bagan. The Mariners made an agreement with him on Thursday after Finland finished third in their group and exited the tournament.
After completing the deal, Kauko left a message for ATK Mohun Bagan fans.
"Hello Mariners. This is Joni Kauko. Greetings from Finland. I am really excited to join the historic club, ATK Mohun Bagan. I am looking forward to learning about the fascinating culture of India. So see you soon, Mariners. Take care," he said.
Chennaiyin retain Reagan Singh till 2023
Chennaiyin FC right-back Reagan Singh has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club right until 2023.
Luis Machado leaves NEUFC
NorthEast United winger Luis Machado has signed for newly promoted Polish club Radomiak. The 28-year-old scored 7 goals and handed out 2 assists for the Highlanders in the 2020-21 season in which his team reached the ISL semi-final for a second time.
Odisha FC launches digital grassroots program
With their vision to make football coaching accessible to everyone, Odisha FC has opted for the cyber route, courtesy of its unique Digital Grassroots Program.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Grassroots Manager of Odisha FC, Suvam Das said, "The Odisha FC Digital Grassroots Academy is an initiative through which we are trying to reach out to more and more kids in Odisha and get them involved in our Grassroots programs. As many of our planned programs didn't kick-off because of the ongoing pandemic, we decided to start this to make sure more children get a basic understanding of the game."
Sunil Chhetri reveals he almost signed for Churchill in 2013
"Everyone told me to sign for Churchill Brothers [in 2013]. I-League champions, renowned name, going to play in AFC Cup. On the other hand, [Bengaluru FC] new club and don't know who are going to be signed, may or may not work, so it was a gamble I took.", Chhetri said.
He added, "My family said sign for Churchill and be sorted. AFC Cup was a big motivation. But I went with my gut feeling. Sometimes in life your gut feeling gets it right, sometimes not. But here I got it right."
Suresh Singh Wangjam has extended his stay at Bengaluru FC till 2024
“I’m really happy to commit my future to Bengaluru FC. I came here two years ago, and I have improved tremendously as a player because of my teammates and the staff I have around me. I have so much more to learn and feel this is the best place for me to be able to do that. I also get a lot of love and appreciation from our supporters and I really want to do well for them. It was an easy decision for me to sign on,” said Wangjam.
“Suresh has grown immensely as a player and a person since we first signed him and we were always keen on keeping him at this club. He has a bright future ahead of him, and we are glad that he will spend the next stage of his development with us. Suresh is one of the few players from the U17 squad at the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup who have become a consistent feature in the senior national team, and that reaffirms our belief in youth and the success of our player development pathway,” said club CEO Mandar Tamhane.
Igor Stimac lays down Mourinho and Guardiola comparison while hailing his team
On being asked about his future amid rumours that he could be sacked, Stimac controversially claimed, "I could be fired but not even (Pep) Guardiola or (Jose) Mourinho could do more in these circumstances."
Rahim Ali extends Chennayin FC stay
Chennaiyin FC forward Rahim Ali has put pen to paper on a contract extension that sees him continue at the club for two more years, as confirmed by the club.
Hyderabad FC sign Aaren D'Silva
23-year-old attacker Aaren D'Silva has joined Hyderabad FC on a three year deal as announced by the club on Friday.
“I am really excited to be a part of Hyderabad FC. I have already spoken to the coaches and that makes me even more excited. I want to be a part of the squad, and work hard to make a name for myself at HFC. I hope to give my best for the club and make the fans proud” said Aaren, after completing formalities.
Gouramangi Singh hails Sunil Chhetri
Former India defender Gouramangi Singh has hailed our Indian national football team captain when he was asked by Sportskeeda with regards to our over-dependency on Chhetri, "I don't like to use the term overdependent. At the end of the day, if we win or lose, it's a team effort. Yes, there are certain times where Sunil being Sunil can help us. There is nothing wrong in being dependent on him because he has scored 70+ international goals for the country in these years."
Amey Ranawade commits long-term future with Mumbai City FC until May 2025
Ranadwade said, "Joining Mumbai City FC last year was one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my career. Over the last year, this club has not only given me the confidence to show what I can do on the pitch but has been like my family and like any family, they have stood by me in good times and bad. I am extremely proud and delighted that as a Mumbaikar, I will continue to be a part of my home club and this incredible family."
He concluded, "I also want to express my gratitude to Sergio Lobera and the entire staff at Mumbai City FC for believing in me. I am aware that the future will bring a lot of new challenges and I am ready to repay the faith everyone has put in me and give my best for my city, my club and our fans."
Ivan Vukomanovic joins Kerala Blasters FC as the new head coach
Kerala Blasters FC has announced on Thursday that Ivan Vukomanovic has been appointed as the club’s new Head Coach ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2021/22 season.
India qualify to AFC Asian Cup qualifiers third round
India have qualified to 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers third round as they earned 1-1 draw against Afghanistan in their last match of FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. It meant India finished third in their group, and as a result, have booked their place in the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Chhetri's 16-years of international football excellence
Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri, today, celebrates 16-years of international football.
The maestro made his debut for the national team on June 12, 2005 when India took on Pakistan in Quetta.
Chhetri scored on his debut in that game as the final score stood 1-1. And fast-forward to today when just two active international male footballers have scored more goals than him, and these two are Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and United Arab Emirates’ Ali Mabkhout.
Here's what Chhetri said in a full interview with AIFF on his anniversary.
Naushad Moosa pens three-year deal with Bengaluru FC
AFC Pro-Licensed coach Naushad Moosa has extended his stay at Bengaluru FC until the 2023-24 season after penning a new three-year deal.
Naushad has been responsible for Bengaluru FC's Youth Development Programme along with holding his position as a coach in the senior team.
He will now be an assistant coach to Marco Pezzaiuoli.
17-year-old Subho Paul selected for the Bayern Munich world squad
Teenager Subho Paul has been selected for Bayern Munich's World Squad, which includes 15 U19 prospects from 15 different countries.
As many as 654 players from 64 nations applied for a spot on the roster and our Indian youngster was one among the 15 selected.
Subho plays for Sudeva FC and scored 14 times in 11 matches in the AIFF Youth League's 2019-20 season.
We wish him the best and hope to hear and write more good news about him in the future.
Former Indian football team captain Shekhar Bangera has passed away
74-year-old former Maharashtra goalkeeper and Indian football team's captain Shekhar Bangera has passed away after battling COVID-19.
According to a statement issued here by city-based club Karnatak Sporting Association, Bangera was under treatment for COVID-19 at Mahesh Hospital, Brahmavar and lost his fight against the virus on Wednesday.
He represented our country along with many other clubs and academies throughout his decorated career. May his soul Rest in Peace!
Sunil Chhetri reveals favourite strike partners in his career
Indian football team legend Chhetri has chosen Bhaichung Bhutia and Jeje Lalpekhlua as his favourite striker partners whom he played with in his career.
Chhetri said, "I will be biased towards two players, Bhaichung Bhutia and Jeje Lalpekhlua because I have spent the most time with them and they have been brilliant. And out of those two, I'll choose Bhaichung because he was that good and he helped me a lot. Playing with them made life simpler for me."
Chhetri reveals everyone has a chance under Igor Stimac
Sunil Chhetri spoke about the chances for youngsters under our football team coach Igor Stimac and said, "Here we have a coach who is not worried about giving chances to players. Previously there used to be criticisms that players are not given chance but now if you do well in the I-League or the ISL, you will be given a chance."
Chhetri concluded, "Sometimes I feel, he doesn't even care. If he feels somebody is good he will always give the boy a chance. His idea is to get the top 14 players and then make changes here and there. When it clicks, he will get the first 14 and it will be more stable."
East Bengal handed transfer ban
The Kolkata based club has been banned due to non-payment of their former star Jhonny Acosta's salary after the player complained to FIFA.
Players can approach FIFA if they aren't paid their wages on time. Acosta did the same.
Stimac delighted after win against Bangladesh
India national team head coach, Igor Stimac has revealed that he extremely pleased with the way his side played during their 2-0 win over Bangladesh in their 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifier at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Monday night.
He said, "We presented football as it should be. That's the way we always want to play. Of course, it's not always possible but when we are favourites against a lower-ranked team, it's something that we will like to present. The players did everything they could to get the win. So, all the credit to them for executing the game plan perfectly."
FSDL announce new rule for ISL teams
The Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) have announced that Indian Super League clubs will now need to have a minimum of seven Indian players on the field of play at any given point of time.
From the 2021-22 season, FSDL will mandate clubs to increase their development player signing from minimum two to four. These clubs will continue to have two such development players as part of the match-day squad.
The Hindu reveal that a club can have a maximum squad strength of 35 players, with 3 registered goalkeepers. The squad salary cap remains at INR 16.5 Crore for season 2021-22.
Sunil Chhetri becomes the second highest active goalscorer in football currently
Chhetri has now scored 74 international goals, and among the active footballers, only Cristiano Ronaldo has more goals to his name, with the Portugal captain having amassed a staggering 103 goals for his national team.
The Indian captain scored his 73rd and 74th international goals in the second half and in the process has gone past UAE’s Ali Mabkhout who has 73 goals to his name.
Bhaichung Bhutia calls Sunil Chhetri the 'Cristiano Ronaldo of India'
While speaking to Sputnik News, former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia has hailed Sunil Chhetri's contribution to the game.
He said, "I have seen Sunil as a young boy and now as an experienced campaigner. He is like Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a workaholic, who's very professional and maintains his fitness levels very well."
Bhutia added, "There are a lot of players who can learn from Sunil Chhetri because there are players who are highly gifted, and supremely talented, and there are players who have made it big through sheer hard work, and that is Sunil for you."
He continued, "He has been one of the greatest examples for Indian footballers to see that you can really achieve what you want to achieve through your dedication, determination and work ethics."
Terming Chhetri as India's Cristiano Ronaldo, Bhutia concluded, "I would say, in terms of his footballing lifestyle, Sunil Chhetri is truly India's Cristiano Ronaldo. Obviously, Ronaldo is a great player, but both Sunil and Ronaldo have become great because they continuously work hard and strive for excellence."
Kerala Blasters handed transfer ban by FIFA
ISL club Kerala Blasters have been handed a transfer ban by FIFA. The communication from the FIFA player status committee was made on June 1 and the AIFF has sent a letter to the club on June 7.
The Blasters have been banned by FIFA as their player Matej Poplatnik complained to the governing body that his salary was not paid. Players can approach FIFA if they aren't paid their wages on time. Kerala Blasters can lift their transfer ban issue by paying the pending salary to Poplatnik as confirmed by FIFA.
Chhetri expresses happiness after win against Bangladesh
Sunil Chhetri was a relieved man after India won their first game in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and 2023 AFC Asian Cup China qualifiers on Monday night when they beat Bangladesh.
Speaking to the AIFF right after the game, Chhetri, said, “It was tough, frustrating at times. I think we were guilty of missing a lot of chances. We could have done a lot of things better but at the end [we are] happy that we have got three points which was needed …To win three points, to win a full game is always sweet. I am happy that we also kept a clean sheet.”
It was India’s away first win in almost 20 years in the World Cup qualifiers. When this stat was brought to his attention, Chhetri said, “I didn’t know that. It feels good to win a game. It’s been a very topsy-turvy qualifying campaign. I think we have had some decent performances but couldn’t show any results. At the end, we are happy that we have got three points."
India are now set to play Afghanistan on June 15.