Cardiff Striker Michael Chopra In Talks To Represent India

Chris Wright

15th, November 2010


By Chris Wright

Cardiff striker Rocky Michael Chopra has flown out to Dubai today to discuss the possibility of representing India at international level with manager Bobby Houghton.

The Indian squad are currently preparing for a midweek match against Kuwait and it is thought that Chopra will stay to watch the game before returning home for Cardiff’s Championship match against his former club (very briefly) Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Veteran English boss Houghton wants Chopra to play for India at the Asian Cup in January (meaning he’d miss several of the Bluebird’s league games), as the 26-year-old qualifies under FIFA rules via his India-born grandparents.

However, Indian domestic regulations stipulate that only Indian citizens can play for the national side (who are currently ranked 144th in the world), hence the negotiations.

With teammate Jay Bothroyd recently getting the England nod from Fabio Capello, maybe Chopra should hang on for a few more months before he gives up entirely on that first full Three Lions cap.

Posted in Championship, International football

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  1. Rob says:

    Do they have enough material over there for his shorts?

  2. Would be a massive massive boost to us. First Asia Cup in 24 years. Hope it goes through.

  3. dojo says:

    hey Rob, considering that Western countries (UK, US) are lining up to kiss India’s boots right now, i’d say yes there’s enough material. probably, more than enough. have a nice day peace.

  4. Tom Jones says:

    He’s got to be pretty desperate to consider it. India are crap at football even by Asian standards.

  5. Jesus says:

    Kuwait beat India 9-1. Hahahaha! Why would he possibly want to join them?

  6. Jesus says:

    For the record, Indians outnumber Kuwaitis 333.27 times to 1. Indian football is a joke.

  7. Grant says:

    Not to nitpick, but surely everybody representing a country at international level is a citizen of the countries they’re playing for, right? It’s just that some countries have more relaxed rules about this sort of thing, and will give a passport to pretty much anyone whose great grandfather visited the country on vacation once when they were young.

  8. Shaun says:

    Grant……India is one of the most difficult countries to become a citizen of. He only qualifies because his father is Indian, two grandparents were born India, and thus, he is considered to be of Indian origin (no different to all the Brazilians and Argentinians playing in Europe with Portuguese and Italian passports). Therefore, he is entitled to become an Indian citizen (under a scheme they call the OCI scheme), retaining his British Nationality too.

    And personally, I am a Brit working in the Czech republic…..if I had a child born here, I would want them to have a British passport, and, if they were ever good enough, to represent England (though my wife would say Scotland as she’s from Glasgow).

    I say good luck to Chopra…..Indian football maybe a joke, but imagine the godlike status he will acquire….the sponsorship money he will get will change his life more than that pathetic spread he did in OK! Finally, if you see how Baichung Bhutia, the Indian captain, is revered, you can only believe that Cardiff City will gain millions of shirt sales in India……I remember the way Bhutia inspired millions of Indians to seek out Bury shirts (they were, obviously, disappointed), and this is in a country obsessed with buying Arsenal shirts……so, good luck to Cardiff too! Great extra revenue that they could do with.

  9. Grant says:


    Well done research-wise. My point was simply that it seemed the article was intomating that India was unique in requiring the people representing their country to be citizens of the country. I’m fairly certain all countries require their representatives to be citizens, at least in football. Most countries allow you to have dual citizenship, but you have to have a passport from the country you’re going to represent.

  10. Raj says:

    No need for all to lose sleep over Michael Chopra. If he at all decides to play (his personal choice), he’ll have to submit his British passport. Whether endorsements in India make up for his sacrificed (if at all) British passport, he’ll decide for himself. It’s all about his personal gain, norhing about his national pride — for either England or India.
    @Jesus: Yeah, India does lag behind in football but it’s coming up. One defeat to Kuwait where the Indian coach experimented resting five of the first team players doesn’t define Indian football. But yeah, it does lag behind.
    In India, for example, English football is a joke. They failed to qualify for the Euro despite the cash rich EPL which they boast about. But does that mean English football is a joke? I dont think so.
    @Shaun: Bhaichung’s stint with Bury never made Bury richer — i mean no Bury shirts were sold at that time. It was in the mid 90s and there were no Bury shirts around.
    And if all of you believe, Chopra will make all sponsors run after him, you are wrong too. Because, ‘Cardiff’ in India doesnt sell. he may (at the max) become Cardiff University’s brand ambassador in India. Nothing more than that.

  11. Mihir says:

    A couple of things here. It may well be a typical club vs country thing (though we need to know how far does Chopra considers himself as an Indian apart from his name). India are playing the Asian Cup, THE biggest tournament we are playing in more than two decades. So obviously, we want some good players. Cardiff’s concern is also genuine. January being the key month, they would not want him to leave. A tough choice that.
    But we can look at this beyond things like India football being sub-standard or Chopra’s desperation. In Indian football, we lack heroes. It’s not a secret that how bad Indian football is. And for that reason, we need someone good who can add value to the team. Someone who has the experience of playing against good opponents week-in and week-out. We have worshiped Baichung for a long time now and need someone who can take it forward.
    I am not saying Chopra will be that person but he surely can inspire others. And this may well be a short-term arrangement. India will be playing the Asian Cup in January. Post that tournament, I don’t see Chopra leaving his club duty and play for India. So if you are a Cardiff fan, you may not worry too much. As far as the business part of it goes, then yes, if marketed well, Cardiff will surely gain from this. One of our strikers, Sunil Chetri, has just joined MLS’s Kansas City Wizards and that deal has brought a lot of recognition for them in India. In the end, it may prove to be a win-win situation for all the parties involved, if it’s exploited well.

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