Insidesport.IN can exclusively reveal that there have been alterations to the schedule of the Merdeka Cup 2023. On October 11, the Indian Football Team will commence their campaign against Tajikistan.

Insidesport.IN can exclusively confirm that adjustments have been made to the Merdeka Cup 2023 schedule. This change occurred following the withdrawal of the Palestine Football Team from the competition due to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Indian Football Team will now initiate their campaign against Tajikistan on October 11. Previously, Sunil Chhetri and his team were scheduled to commence the tournament against Malaysia on October 13.

Revised Schedule for Merdeka Cup 2023:

  • October 11: India vs. Tajikistan
  • October 14: Malaysia vs. India
  • October 17: Malaysia vs. Tajikistan

The Palestine Football Team’s withdrawal from the Merdeka Cup 2023 is a result of the Israel-Palestine conflict. With the closure of all border crossings and Lod Airport due to the ongoing situation, travel has become extremely challenging. Given the rapidly deteriorating conditions on the ground, the Palestine Football Association has declared that there will be no matches this week.

Hamas-led Palestinian resistance organizations in Gaza initiated a full-scale military operation into various communities along the Israel-Gaza border on Saturday morning.

The Merdeka Cup 2023 was originally intended to feature four teams, with Palestine facing Tajikistan in the opening match. However, Lebanon, initially scheduled to play against Palestine, withdrew from the tournament. Palestine was the top seed in the league, ranked 96th in the current FIFA football rankings, followed by India (102nd), Tajikistan (110th), and Malaysia (136th).

The Merdeka Cup, also known as Pestabola Merdeka, was established in 1957 as an international friendly football competition to commemorate the country’s independence day. After a hiatus of ten years, the tournament is making a comeback, having last taken place in 2013.

The 26-member probable list for Merdeka Cup 2023 is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith, and Dheeraj Singh.

Defenders: Nikhil Poojary, Roshan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Mehtab Singh, Lalchungnunga, Akash Mishra, and Subhasish Bose.

Midfielders: Jeakson Singh, Suresh Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Rohit Kumar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Udanta Singh, Vikram Pratap Singh, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Liston Colaco, and Nandhakumar Sekar.

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