A day before their opening match against Sri Lanka in the SAF football championship on Friday at Thiruvanantapuram, Anas Etahodika dependable defender who represented Delhi Dynamos in the recently concluded ISL, has been ruled out of the tournament due to hamstring injury. It was reported by India’s team doctor that Anas would not be able to recover from the injury before the match starts on Friday.
Chief coach Stephen Constantine has lamented saying, “Most of the footballers who have joined the national team after completing their engagement in the ISL seemed to be unfit and injury also. This has damaged our preparation for the SAF championship. Anas had been already included in my plans in the tournament as the former Pune FC footballer was in good shape this season.”
In a similar way Arnab Mondol and Robin Singh also who represented Atleticco De Kolkata and Delhi Dynamos, respectively are also suffering from mild hamstring injury and that was the reason both of these footballers were given complete rest from the national team’s training on Wednesday and on Thursday.”
Now, after Anas being ruled out, Stephen is planning to start SAF football championship with the bunch of new footballers who have been called up for the first time in the national squad. The head coach said, “I am not looking forward to the result only. There are a lot of new footballers who are among the 20-member squad. Their performance should be watched in this tournament. And if they can deliver that will be the gain of Indian football in future.”