England’s Sancho to play only in group stages

Kolkata : England wonderkid Jadon Sancho will join the squad here but will be available only for the group stages of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. “Jadon Sancho will be joining the squad in Kolkata,” a team official said.

He is expected to join the side before their group opener against Chile on October 8. The star forward was named in England’s 21-member squad but did not travel with the team as his club Borussia Dortmund did not grant permission. But after English FA’s intervention, the Bundesliga giants have now allowed the 17-year-old to feature for Steve Cooper’s side only for the group stages. The FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be missing Brazil’s young star Vinicius Junior who was not allowed by his club Flamengo to play in the tournament and Sancho’s limited participation is further a bad news for the marque event. England checked in to the city from Mumbai ahead of their FIFA Under-17 World Cup opening match on October 8. The Steve Cooper-coached side were based in Mumbai for pre-conditioning after landing in India on September 28 and warmed up to the October 6-28 tournament with a 3-2 defeat of New Zealand on October 1.

“We are happy to be here. There’s no activity today,” a team official said after landing here at 2.20pm.

Chile were the first to land here on October 1, followed by Iraq the next day while the fourth team of Group F, Mexico, will join tomorrow, when the Salt Lake Stadium is thrown open four days ahead of the first match here.

England are in Group F and will play all their three group leagues matches against Chile on October 8, Mexico on October 11 and Iraq on October 14 at the Salt Lake Stadium.

England’s previous two U-17 World Cup campaigns have hosted by two of their group opponents, Chile and Mexico.

The Young Lions travelled to Chile for the 2015 edition of the competition, when Cooper was on the coaching staff as Neil Dewsnip’s assistant.

A squad featuring the likes of Everton’s Tom Davies and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold went out after the group stage. Prior to that, England’s 2011 campaign saw John Peacock’s side reach quarterfinal in Mexico, their best ever finish.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Curtis Anderson, Josef Bursik, William Crelin Defenders: Timothy Eyoma, Joel Latibeaudiere, Marc Guehi, Jonathan Panzo, Lewis Gibson, Steven Sessegnon, Morgan Gibbs White, Tashan Oakley Boothe Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson Odoi, Philip Foden, Emile Smith Rowe, Rhian Brewster, Danny Loader.

Midfielders: Conor Gallagher, Angel Gomes, Nya Kirby, George McEachran

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