The Indian squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup has a new memeber. According to a report in Times of India, Sunny Dhaliwal, a Canada based goalkeeper, has been included in the Indian squad after he managed to get an Indian passport. He had earlier attended a 10-day trial in Goa earlier this year.
According to the report, Dhaliwal got his Indian passport only on Thursday which made it possible for him to join the Indian team. The six-foot-five-inch goalkeeper has played for youth teams of MLS side Toronto FC.
“Sunny has got his passport and will join the team in Mexico. It was a (lengthy) process but I am thankful to (AIFF) president Praful Patel, the sports ministry and the home ministry who made this possible,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das was quoted as saying by TOI.
After the inclusion of Dhaliwal, the number of goalkeepers in the Indian squad has gone up to five. Dheeraj Singh of Manipur, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Mohammad Nawaz and Tamal Naskar are the other names.
Sunny is not the first PIO to be included in the Indian squad. US-based Namit has also been included in the squad but he only has an Indian passport while Dhaliwal has both Indian and Canandian passport.
“Sunny is a good find for the team. He has the talent to make it big. His height and imposing figure is a big advantage in a tournament like the World Cup but he still needs to work hard to break into the starting eleven,” said a member of the India Under-17 coaching staff.
India are preparing for the U-17 World Cup which will be held in the country beginning October 6. India have been grouped with USA, Colombia and Ghana. For now, India are travelling to Mexico to play friendlies against Mexico (August 3), Colombia (August 4) and Chile (August 6).