Chopra hopes to represent India
Cardiff City’s British Asian striker Michael Chopra has expressed his desire to represent India at international level.
Chopra scored in Cardiff City’s 4-2 win at Scunthorpe on Saturday before flying to Dubai, where the Indian squad are preparing for a midweek match against Kuwait.
Newcastle-born Chopra – who has always been fiercely proud of his Asian roots – had talks with India boss Bobby Houghton yesterday and will stay to watch the Kuwait game before returning for City’s home match against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
“I will be honoured to represent the country of my origin. I feel I can help our country with my experience of playing against top-quality opponents every week,” Chopra said.
Veteran English boss Houghton, who steered Swedish club Malmo to the 1979 European Cup final, wants Chopra to play for India at the Asian Cup in January.
Chopra flew out with his representatives Kenny Motes and Yogesh Joshee, from the Matchworld Agency, to Dubai but Houghton must clear the way for the 26-year-old to play for India.
Under Fifa rules, Chopra qualifies through his India-born grandparents, but domestic regulations stipulate that only Indian citizens can play for the country.
Chopra has represented England right through from under-15 to under-21 level, but it is unlikely that he will force his way into the Three Lions’ senior side.
If Chopra were to play in the Asian Cup that could cause Cardiff boss Dave Jones problems in the new year.
India are in a group with Australia, Bahrain and South Korea and that could see Chopra miss vital Championship matches in January.