It was back in January this year that Pune FC’s Arata Izumi had began pondering over donning the national jersey for India. Almost 11 months later, the Pune FC star has made up his mind to make himself available for selection for the Indian national team.
The Japanese national is waiting for his documents to arrive so that he can then initiate the process of getting an Indian passport after relinquishing his present one.
“My mom is Japanese while dad is an Indian hailing from Gujarat. Once the documents are with me, I shall apply for the passport. I’m not sure how long it does take but I believe that it isn’t an easy process.
“I shall also contact the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for this and seek their guidance as well,” said Arata.
The 28 year old mentioned that he was keen on playing for India but wasn’t too sure of the rules as he was misinformed earlier.
“People earlier said that since I have a PIO (Player of Indian Origin) card, you could play for India but I guess that wasn’t to be so here I am,” he added.
In the current squad of the Indian national team, there is an absence of a genuine left winger who could cut past defenders and score goals as well, something which an Anthony Pereira does so well on the right. The players who do play on the left currently for India are either a tad too unfit to run up and down the field and have never had shot on target when they do plan to shoot instead of aimlessly lobbing the ball.
Arata’s inclusion in the future would certainly add more pace and versatility in the attack and given his aerial reach being better than many, India are surely to benefit.