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India squad for FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers in June

Indian senior men’s team head coach, Igor Stimac, has announced a 27-member squad for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Round 2 in June. India will be competing against Kuwait and Qatar in their final two matches of this round.

Moinak Banerjee
Last updated: 26.05.2024
India squad for FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers in June

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Indian senior men’s team head Coach Igor Stimac announced a 27-member squad for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Round 2 in June. Initially, the Croatian called up a 32-player preliminary squad for camp in Bhubaneshwar from which four were omitted. The remaining players will continue to train until leaving for Kolkata on May 29. The Blue Tigers will take on Kuwait for a crucial tie on June 6 in Kolkata before facing Qatar away four days later. India are currently placed second in the group, with four points from four matches.


The match against Kuwait will make the headlines as it is a do-or-die match for the team whose talisman Sunil Chhetri will play his last game in blue colors. A big turnout is expected at Salt Lake to mark the occasion as India looks to seal the spot in the third round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers for the first time in history and directly qualify for the Asian Cup 2027 in Saudi Arabia. The top two teams in the group will qualify for the next round so the Blue Tigers are desperate to seal the place alongside group winners Qatar.   

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India's performance in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers

India got off to an excellent start in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers, beating Kuwait 1-0 in the Middle East but the optimism went away in the next matches. A 3-0 defeat to consecutive Asian Cup champions Qatar in Odisha was followed by a forgettable Asian Cup campaign in January. However, the Blue Tigers hit their low when they failed to beat Afghanistan in back-to-back matches of the qualifiers drawing goalless in Saudi Arabia and suffering a 2-1 loss on Chhetri’s 150th appearance back at home. Despite that, Igor Stimac’s side remains in pole position to qualify but if only they could beat Kuwait in the next match. Anything less than that will complicate their chances while a loss might eliminate them from the race altogether. Here’s a detailed analysis on How India can qualify for the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers after the Afghanistan loss      


India squad for World Cup Qualifiers

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith


Defenders: Amey Ranawade, Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Narender, 

Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose


Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Edmund Lalrindika, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Nandhakumar Sekar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam


Forwards: David Lalhlansanga, Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Vikram Partap Singh


Captain: Sunil Chhetri

Head Coach: Igor Stimac 


Phurba Lachenpa, Parthib Gogoi, Imran Khan, Muhammad Hammad and Jithin MS did not make the final cut. Among the new faces, Parthib and Hammad suffered minor injuries which will keep them out for at least two weeks. I-League’s record Indian goalscorer Lalrinzuala Lalbiaknia also did not make the main team. However, other debut call-ups like Amey Ranawade, Jay Gupta, Edmund Lalrindika and David Lalhlansanga will be travelling to Kolkata. Lalrindika and Lalhlansanga will represent players from the I-League after a long time. Captain Sunil Chhetri will play his last game for India against Kuwait so four forwards are chosen to fill his spot for the next match against Qatar. Jeakson Singh, Sahal and Nandhakumar have regained full fitness from their injury to be part of the squad.      


India World Cup Qualifiers Fixtures

Thursday, 6 June 2024 

India vs Kuwait - Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata (19:00)   

Tuesday, 11 June 2024  

Qatar vs India - Al-Rayyan Stadium, Qatar (21:15)

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