“PIOs can help us reach the FIFA World Cup 2026”- Igor Stimac

yan dhanda

It seems like the Indian National Football Team, Igor Stimac, and the fans agree on one particular subject of debate. While heading a webinar conducted through video-conference, Stimac has desired his interest in allowing the Players of Indian Origin (PIO) to play for the National Team, something not permitted in the country as of now.

The fans have been raising their voices regarding this since a long time, although a small section of fans are not fond of this idea. While some think it will boost our National Team and help us qualify for the World Cup, others feel that it won’t be ethical to import players just to save our sinking ship. However, the only opinion that matters has agreed with the former.

Igor Stimac PIO
Stimac has said that PIOs can help India qualify for the World Cup.

Igor Stimac expresses interest to see PIOs in the team.

Stimac said during the Zoom webinar that PIOs can be the ‘driving force’ behind India playing in the World Cup for the first-time ever. He emphasized that there are 10-11 PIOs playing for European clubs and praised their playing style. He also said that many of them are interested to ‘play for their country of origin’.

While listing his priorities for the short term, Stimac said that working with the government to change the citizenship regulations is one of their top priorities. The Indian law does not allow dual citizenship to any person, which is barring PIOs from representing India. Stimac hopes that the government makes exception so that the Indian National Team becomes a likely destination for such players. He also praised the government for supporting not just football, but other sports too.

Yan Dhanda, an English footballer of Indian descent, is possibly the most famous of the lot. Dhanda was a part of Liverpool’s youth teams and plies his trade for Championship side, Swansea City. Dhanda has never shied away from admitting that he wishes to represent India and that has excited fans a lot.

Yan Dhanda Indian team.
Yan Dhanda with the Indian flag.

Apart from Dhanda, Danny Batth is another famous player of Indian descent. Danny came through the academy of Wolverhampton Wanderers and also played for the senior team. His father is Sikh, while his mother is British. He is now playing for Stoke City and is on the radar of Indian fans and also the coach.

To know about some unknown Indian-origin players who should be targeted, read the article below.

5 unknown Indian origin players