Gurpreet Singh Sandhu: How is he eligible to play in AFC Cup

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The 25-year-old custodian will play in the AFC Cup knockouts later this month for Bengaluru FC…

Federation Cup champions Bengaluru FC are to face DPR Korean side 4.25 SC on April 23rd in the first of the two legs of the AFC Cup knockout rounds.

On Wednesday, they released a 25-member squad list which had been registered for the AFC Cup.

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However, with the club having signed goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on August 16th, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the player would be allowed to ply his trade in the said competition.

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The answer is in the affirmative and this is thanks to the shrewd planning on behalf of the club.

The last date to register players for the AFC Cup tie was August 6th. Not known to many Gurpreet’s name was included in the 26-player list submitted.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Bengaluru FC PS

The catch was that the JSW-owned club had to submit the contractual documents including the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) at least seven days before the first leg of the AFC Cup knockout game, ie, by midnight on August 16th. This is was what the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had demanded from Bengaluru FC.

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Following the breakdown of the potential move to Portuguese club Boavista FC, Bengaluru FC moved swiftly in the market to directly deal with Stabaek FC. The Norwegian club had problems of their own as they had to sign Gurpreet’s replacement, John Alvarage from Sweden before the end of the transfer window with the deadline being August 16th.

On Wednesday, Bengaluru FC officials had alerted the concerned authorities at the AFC, All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Norwegian FA to act swiftly in order to ensure that they get the ITC and that his contractual obligations are processed just in time. In fact, the ITC was submitted at 11:30 pm IST, just 30 minutes prior to the expiry of the deadline. 

The Blues have been plotting the move for Gurpreet for the last six weeks or so and have finally managed to rope him in. He will participate in the first training session with the rest of the team on Friday.

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