AIFF to push for inclusion of Indian-origin players

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BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 28:  Blackpool player Michael Chopra (r) shares a joke with Steven Taylor during the pre season friendly match between Blackpool and Newcastle United at Bloomfield Road on July 28, 2013 in Blackpool, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The All Football Federation (AIFF), on Thursday, drew up a list of footballers of Indian origin, who could be approached to play for , if the federation receives the green signal from the government.

While well-known names like Michael Chopra figure in the list, the AIFF is also not averse to approach relatively lesser known players like , , , , and Malvind Benning, who are currently playing in Europe.

Youngsters playing in minor English and US clubs – like Dylan Lall, Jhai Dhillon, Josh Shama and Joshua Pynadath – may also be tapped.

“We will approach these players only if the government allows them to play for India, by giving them the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards. It could be too much to ask these players give up the passports of the countries they are residing in,” an AIFF official said.

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