Kashmir Indepth

Mohammad Hammad selected for India senior national football team’s camp

Srinagar May 05: Mohammad Hammad has been selected for the Indian senior national football team’s camp in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2.

Hammad, the captain of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), received this honor from Indian team’s head coach Igor Stimac, who announced the first list of 26 probables for the upcoming matches against Kuwait and Qatar. Hammad, a local talent from Kashmir, earned recognition during the recently concluded I-League season 2023-2024, where he was awarded the Jarnail Singh award for best defender.

RKFC, known for its predominantly Kashmiri lineup, was founded in 2016 by the late Sandeep Chatoo and has since become a vital platform for nurturing football talent in the region.

The RKFC management expressed their pride in Hammad’s achievement, highlighting the club’s commitment to providing opportunities for local players.

“It is a proud moment for the entire J&K that a local player Mohammad Hammad has been selected in the senior national team for the Bhubaneshwar camp in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2. It was a dream for Sandeep Chatoo to provide a platform for local players to play in top leagues in and outside the country,” the management said.

This camp is pivotal for the team’s preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 Asian Qualifiers Round 2 matches as India looks set to compete against Kuwait and Qatar.

The camp, scheduled to commence on May 10 in Bhubaneswar, will be crucial for India’s preparations as they gear up to face Kuwait and Qatar in Group A fixtures. India currently holds the second position in the group standings with four points from four games, with the top two teams advancing to Round 3 of the qualifiers and securing a spot in the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027. The upcoming matches against Kuwait and Qatar are scheduled for June 6 and June 11, respectively, with the camp aiming to fine-tune the team’s strategy and readiness for these crucial encounters.

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