The Asian Games 2023 is all set to take place in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China from 23 September to 8 October. But, India’s Football fans dealt with a blow as India’s Football Team are set to miss the tournament. The main reason behind it is not meeting not meet the Sports Ministry’s criteria of being ranked among the top-8 sides in the continent.
Currently, in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), India are the 18th-ranked team. Earlier, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) planned that an Under-23 side would be sent to the tournament under Igor Stimac. Now, after hearing such news, fans slammed the Sports Ministry of India brutally on social media.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) denied India Football Team for the 2018 Asian Games also due to the same reason
The Sports Ministry sent a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and all the National Sports Federations (NSFs). They wrote: “For team events, only those sports which have achieved a ranking up to eighth among participating countries of Asia in the last one year should be considered for participation in Asian Games. Where, in the opinion of the experts of specific sports disciplines, and that of Sports Authority of India, participation of individuals and teams in relaxation of the above criteria is recommended with justifiable reasons, the same will be considered in the Ministry for appropriate decision”.
Meanwhile, the AIFF are looking of appealing to the sports ministry to reconsider the decision. According to PTI, the AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran said: “This is a decision taken by the government. So, we have to abide by it. However, we will make an appeal to the government to reconsider the decision as far as football is concerned. The Indian team’s performance this year has been extremely encouraging. It will be a great boost for football, especially for the U-23 boys, if they get an opportunity to play in the Asian Games.” Since 2022, Football in the Asian Games has been a U-23 event where any team is permitted to play three players above that age.
Here is how fans have reacted:
This decision is disheartening for Indian football fans and the players who worked hard to earn their spot. Hoping for a reconsideration and a chance for the team to shine on the Asian Games stage.
— Amit Bakshi (@amit_bakshi33) July 16, 2023
— Kapil Choudhary (@kapil857) July 15, 2023
This is sere crap, disappointing
If they don’t go and win, how will ranking improve?
— Manish Pandey (मनीष पाण्डेय) join2manish.eth (@join2manish) July 16, 2023
Now all Indians are supporting Indian Football and Govt decided this
— Aditya (@Adityaxyz25) July 15, 2023
Why not ? And what’s our rank
— 🏏tejas🏏 (@itejasmalhotra) July 15, 2023
Never thought that the stakeholders of Indian Football would be this big of an enemy for their own growth.
— Arjun (@LifeIsAnElation) July 15, 2023
No matter how much We support the Nation's Football, somehow the Sports Ministry will bring it down. If Japan and Korea can Beat Germany in the FIFA World Cup why can't india beat any of them? We believe in the team. At least send them without a fear of Losing.
— Abhay 🇮🇳 (@abhaysrivastavv) July 16, 2023
Agar Jaayenge hi nahi toh CUP layenge kaise…😭😭
— The Real Gujju (@The_Real_Gujju) July 15, 2023
— Sid Marchant (@sidmarchant) July 15, 2023