ISL: BFC ropes in Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Lalthuammawia Ralte suffered a grade two ankle sprain during a pre-season fixture against Minerva Punjab in Ballari, enabling BFC to name Gurpreet, who was not initially included in BFC’s squad, as a replacement.

Gurpreet, who featured in the AFC Cup, was not originally in BFC's squad for the ISL as he was not part of the player draft.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has formally been included in Bengaluru FC's ISL squad after injury to Lalthuammawia Ralte. The latter suffered a grade two ankle sprain during a pre-season fixture against Minerva Punjab in Ballari, enabling BFC to name the India custodian as a replacement. Gurpreet, who featured in the AFC Cup, was not originally in BFC's squad for the ISL as he was not part of the player draft. He was, however, part of the reserves, ready to be called into action.

"We will see if he can start from day one," said BFC head coach Albert Roca here on Wednesday. "He's India's No.1 goalkeeper after all. Nothing else to say. He's the goalkeeper we wanted. He's in our squad and now for that reason (Ralte's injury), we can put him in and field him in the playing XI. I am happy for that. I am sad for Ralte because he's out for five to six games."

ISL regulations state that, "In the event of injury to any player during pre-season training, the player may be replaced until 12 noon on the day that is five days prior to the start of the ISL."

However, "Goalkeepers may be replaced at any stage during the ISL season subject to League approval with medical committee evaluation."

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