After the Indian team head coach Igor Štimac sent out feelers to the Iranian footballer of Indian origin, Omid Singh, the winger is considering relinquishing his Iranian passport and taking up Indian citizenship.
Omid’s father is Punjabi, his mother is Iranian and he is married to an Iranian. India’s laws do not allow dual citizenship and an Indian passport is necessary to represent the country in international competitions.
It’s a huge call for Omid. Certainly, he is a good player who could strengthen the India team but he must decide whether he wants to give up his Iranian passport and take up an Indian one.
It’s a cumbersome process and may take 15 months. If he makes up his mind, we can help him by speeding up the process.Senior AIFF Official
The AIFF have been in negotiations with Singh’s agent over the possibility of a switch to the Indian NT. The 28-year-old left winger who can also play in the fullback position currently plays in the Iran Pro League with Nassaji FC. Previously, he turned up for other top-flight Iranian clubs like Naft Masjed Soleyman, Esteghlal Khuzestan and Pars Jonoubi.
In a recent interview with Tehran Times, Omid sounded optimistic about the switch.
I liked to play for Iran national football team, but I was not invited to Team Melli.
At the moment, Iran are one of the best teams in Asia and it’s hard to be part of the team. Mr. Stimac called me and I accepted to play for India.
I am not familiar with Indian football team but I know that they have progressed a lot in the recent years. David James, Robert Pires, Nicolas Anelka, Roberto Carlos and Zico have played in Indian league in the past years.
I always wear No. 7 but they want to hand me No. 17. I hope they give me No. 7 in India.
India are a rising team in Asia and can compete with the continent’s giants. The team will not surely lose to South Korea with six goals. They have invested in the development of football in the recent years.
Many Iranians are unhappy with my decision, but I am going to make them proud.Omid Singh
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