India men’s football head coach Igor Stimac has stated that the Indian players who are playing for the Kerala Blasters will be donning the blue jersey of the national team when the two teams meet in a friendly fixture in September.
Why not moj brate @ivanvuko19 💛But the NT players💙 who play for 🇮🇳 from KB will play for 🇮🇳🙏🏻 and I am sure that Kerala will paint everything in blue for the NT for FIFA games. The love & passion for @KeralaBlasters will neverdie for @kbfc_manjappada we’ll do it together 💙💛🐯
— Igor Štimac (@stimac_igor) June 21, 2022
Earlier, Stimac had hinted that the next camp of the Indian national football team will be held in Kerala. “I want the next national team camp and games to be hosted in Kerala in September. Time to spread football from (in) south of India as well and feel the love and passion of fans from the south too. Kolkata is special to me and will see you again soon. Kerala let’s rally together to show what we can. JaiHind,” Stimac tweeted on June 17.
Want the next NT camp & games been hosted in KERALA in Sept. Time to spread football from south of India as well & feel the love & passion of fans from South too. KOLKATA is special❤️ for me & will see you again soon. KERALA let’s rally together to show what we can 💪🏻⚽️ JaiHind🇮🇳
— Igor Štimac (@stimac_igor) June 17, 2022
Stimac feels that Kerala is one of the country’s hotspots in terms of football. His first experience of Indian domestic football was at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, when he watched the ISL 2019-20 season opener between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata. It was a packed house, and Stimac relished every minute of his time in the football fanatic state.
In response to Stimac’s tweet, Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic welcomed the Indian national team to Kerala. He urged the state to get ready for a friendly against the Indian national team as they arrive in September. “Kerala, get ready! Blue tigers are coming in September,” he tweeted.
The Croatian has now made an interesting tweet where he hints that all the Indian players in the Kerala Blasters squad will be playing for the national side when the two teams meet in September. This would prove to be a dilemma for the yellow brigade as key players like midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, and Harmanjot Khabra will be donning the national jersey and playing against them.
Apart from the match against Kerala Blasters, the men in blue will play another fixture in the window which hasn’t been decided yet. According to reports the match could be played against one of the Asian sides. Stimac highlighted the immense love and passion that the Manjappada (yellow army) fans have for Kerala Blasters and urged to turn the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium blue in colour when India plays at the venue in September.
The Indian coach has already started his preparations for the next international window following a successful 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
According to the FIFA schedule, the next window will start from September 19-27. Each side can play a maximum of two friendly matches during this period. This is a crucial time for team India because there will be no international breaks after this until March 2023.