Indian Football

Swansea City's Yan Dhanda reveals desire to represent India at international level

Mudeet Arora
Dhanda in action for Swansea City
Dhanda in action for Swansea City / Athena Pictures/GettyImages

Yan Dhanda has admitted his desire to represent the Indian national football team in order to help the sport grow in the sub-continent.

The 23-year-old Swansea City midfielder is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder, meaning he is a foreign national holding passport of a foreign country and is not a citizen of India. That makes him a British citizen and currently, the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) rules do not allow citizens of any other country to represent India at an international level.

In an interview with The Times of India, Dhanda said, "I want to represent India and believe I can really help the national team.

"I have been following Indian football and seeing the recent results which include losses against Bahrain and Belarus. They should be winning such games. I being there can improve results and benefit the players as well. Playing with better players always makes people better."

The former Liverpool academy player is confident he can help improve the condition of Indian football.

"When I was young, I had opportunities to play for England and I took them. I wanted to experience playing for England and represent my country at a young age. Obviously now I have been playing with Swansea and following Indian football closely," he added.

"India is in my blood. I believe I can go over there and help improve the results. This can be positive for everyone. For me, I’ve made the decision. I’d love to play for India and things can change. These fans deserve the national team competing against quality teams and moving higher. If players like me can come and play for India, it will help everyone."

Following up on Dhanda's interview, UK-based Baljit Rihal, CEO of Inventive Sports and founder of the Asian Football Awards added, "Having Yan and players like him would give India a boost.

"In terms of OCIs, I think there are doubts that if India has such players, then home-grown talent won’t be developed. There should be a cap on OCIs. If they allow only three high-quality players, it can make a big impact. The government should think about this."

Dhanda has made 50 appearances for Swansea City since joining them back in 2018, scoring five goals.