India vs Malaysia
Image Source: AIFF

Updated 11 October

Updated Merdeka Cup 2023 Schedule & Format: India Is Set to Face Malaysia on October 13. The highly anticipated Merdeka Cup 2023, a prestigious international friendly football competition, has witnessed a shift in its schedule. This alteration comes in the wake of recent events, including the withdrawal of the Palestine Football Team due to the Israel-Palestine war situation. Let’s delve into the revised schedule and the Indian Football Team’s journey in this tournament.

Updated Format Of Merdeka Cup

After Palestine withdrew due to counter-attacks in the Gaza Strip, the 2023 Merdeka Tournament adjusted its competition format, limiting participation to three teams: India, Tajikistan, and Malaysia. These teams will engage in a knockout format to decide the tournament’s victor.

Revised Schedule Of Merdeka Cup 2023

The revised schedule is as follows:

  • 13th Oct: Malaysia vs India – 6:30 PM
  • 17th Oct: Malaysia/India vs Tajikistan – 6.30 PM

All the times are in IST.

Also Read: Merdeka Cup 2023: Provisional India Squad, Venue, Schedule, And Prize Money

Palestine’s Withdrawal and the Challenging Situation

The Merdeka Cup faced an unfortunate setback with the withdrawal of the Palestine Football Team due to the ongoing Israel-Palestine war. The escalating situation has made travel and participation in the tournament increasingly difficult. The closure of border crossings and airports has posed significant challenges.

Hamas-led Palestinian resistance organizations’ military invasion of various communities, including settlements along the Israel-Gaza border, further added to the complexity of the situation. Given these circumstances, the Palestine Football Association decided to abstain from participating in matches this week.

Merdeka Cup: A Brief Overview

Originally initiated in 1957 to commemorate Malaysia’s independence day, the Merdeka Cup has historically brought together football teams from various nations. In this edition, the tournament was set to feature four teams: Palestine, Tajikistan, India, and Malaysia. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, the initial lineup has been altered.

Also Read: List Of Major National Football Tournaments Of India – Everything You Need To Know

Team India’s Prospects and Squad

India’s football team, led by the iconic Sunil Chhetri, is geared up to embark on their Merdeka Cup campaign. The team was initially slated to play against Malaysia on October 13th but will now kickstart their journey against Tajikistan on October 11th.

Here is the 26-member probable list for Merdeka Cup 2023:


  • Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
  • Amrinder Singh
  • Vishal Kaith
  • Dheeraj Singh


  • Nikhil Poojary
  • Roshan Singh
  • Sandesh Jhingan
  • Anwar Ali
  • Mehtab Singh
  • Lalchungnunga
  • Akash Mishra
  • Subhasish Bose


  • Jeakson Singh
  • Suresh Singh
  • Anirudh Thapa
  • Rohit Kumar
  • Sahal Abdul Samad
  • Brandon Fernandes
  • Lallianzuala Chhangte
  • Udanta Singh
  • Vikram Pratap Singh
  • Mahesh Singh Naorem
  • Liston Colaco
  • Nandhakumar Sekar


  • Sunil Chhetri
  • Manvir Singh

With a strong and dedicated team, India is eager to showcase their talent and compete for glory in this edition of the Merdeka Cup. Football enthusiasts eagerly await the exciting matches and the performance of Team India on the international stage.