Iranian winger Omid Singh, son of a Punjabi father and Iranian mother, is considering surrendering his Iranian passport and take up Indian citizenship in order to play for the Indian national football team after he is said to be wanted by new coach Igor Stimac.
Omid who plies his trade in the Iran Pro League with Nassaji FC can play as a left winger and a left full-back. He was recommended to Stimac and the Croatian seems ready to give the 28-year-old player a chance, according to a report by The Times of India.
India does not allow for dual passports and only those with an Indian passport are eligible 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,” a senior All India Football Federation official was quoted as saying.
“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,” he said.
The official further stated that the AIFF have initiated discussions with the player’s agent about the possibilities.
The Indian federation has helped players obtain Indian passports in the past with former India U-17 player Sunny Dhaliwal being an example. Dhaliwal didn’t get a game and that’s a risk Omid would have to take if he is to switch nationalities as picking up an Indian passport won’t guarantee him a place in the Indian side. He will have to prove his merit to coach Stimac.
With the Croatian willing to give Iranian a chance, it is now down to the player to make up his mind. So far, according to the report, Omid is yet to make a final decision.