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Indian Super League: Bengaluru FC find way to keep India striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia

Rules allow a team to retain a maximum of four but Bengaluru FC have managed to get one extra player in their Indian Super League retention list.

football Updated: Jul 21, 2017 19:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Press Trust of India
Indian Super League,Bengaluru FC,Malsawmzuala
Malsawmzuala was named in the Indian team for the AFC Under-23 Championship Qualifiers.(Twitter)

Bengaluru FC have retained two of India’s promising youngsters in midfielder Malsawmzuala and defender Nishu Kumar for the fourth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) and have found a way to make India striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia eligible for selection after five rounds of the competition.

“Considering ISL rules, we could only retain Nishu and Malsawmzuala for the league, given that Daniel has become a full India International, but we don’t want to lose him out as he forms a vital part of our plans,” BFC Head Coach Albert Roca said.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: India have 5 per cent chance of winning every game, says coach

Also Daniel’s contribution will be immense in not just this year’s AFC Cup campaign, but the one in the following year as well, he added.

Daniel and Nishu are currently in Qatar for the AFC Under-23 Championship Qualifiers. They will be with the club till the end of the 2017-18 season.

The two-time I-League champions retained India skipper Sunil Chhetri and promising youngster Udanta Singh ahead of Sunday’s ISL players’ draft.

Daniel will not only play for Bengaluru FC in the 2017 AFC Cup where they have made the inter-zonal semi-finals and the next but will also be in their reserve squad. That means he would be eligible as a replacement if anyone is ruled out of ISL 4 due to injury. Even if no one is injured, as per ISL4 rules, Daniel can be drafted into the Bengaluru FC main squad after five rounds.

According to ISL4 rules, teams could retain a maximum of four players, but this move will see Bengaluru FC managing to find a way to hold on to five.

While the Inter-Zonal semifinal against North Korean side 4.25 SC is up next for the Blues, they will also be playing in 2018 edition of the competition having sealed qualification, courtesy the Federation Cup triumph in May.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 17:13 IST