Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 29 (IANS) Ahead of their SAFF Cup semi-finals match against Maldives, the Indian football team suffered a big blow as star striker Robin Singh was on Tuesday ruled out of the tournament due to a knee problem.
National coach Stephen Constantine said the news was disappointing.
Robin netted twice in India’s 2-0 win over Sri Lanka to kick-off India’s campaign in style which followed a 4-1 mauling of Nepal.
India face Maldives in the first semi-final on Thursday while Afghanistan will take on Sri Lanka in the other last four clash.
“Yesterday’s (December 28) MRI revealed that his knee problem is a bit more serious that we had expected. The doctors have advised us that he will need 10 days rest before undergoing another MRI. It’s a blow and a loss for us. He had started to score for the national team on a regular basis and is such a hard working guy,” Constantine said.
The guidelines of the SAFF Cup, however, state that India won’t be allowed to register any replacement for Robin. The strength of the squad, hence, at present is 19 which include three goalkeepers.