Asian Games 2023: Around 800 athletes named as part of Indian contingent | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India will be sending it’s biggest-ever contingent for the upcoming Asian Games, scheduled to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou from September 20 to October 8.
TOI has learnt that around 8 00 athletes have been named as part of the country’s contingent by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the Asiad. The deadline to send the entries by name was July 15.
The IOA has also forwarded the entries of men’s and women’s football teams to the organisers. However, their participation in the Games will depend on the government’s clearance since they don’t fulfill the Asiad selection criteria laid down by the sports ministry.
For the Jakarta Asiad in 2018, the IOA had named a 524-member contingent in 36 sports disciplines. The government will have time until July 26 to withdraw entries submitted to the organisers if it feels the squads in certain sports disciplines don’t have potential to win medals or do not fulfill the selection criteria. After July 26, the entries can’t be withdrawn and a final contingent list will be prepared.
Following the final selection of athletes, the coaches and support staff personnel will be named – they will form 33 percent of the total contingent size. Sources have informed that the government hasn’t yet decided on the number of sports disciplines in which the Indian contingent will participate.
Apart from football teams, some entries in other disciplines, namely basketball, handball and karate, could be left out of the final Asiad squad. It’s been learnt that the athletes could pay the price for infighting and factionalism in their respective sports federation s. In the case of football, the government has planned to make an exception this time. Football was left out of the Jakarta Asiad even after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had offered to send the national team on its own cost. At that time, Narinder Dhruv Batra was the president of the IOA, which had deemed that the football teams were incompetent to win medals.
However, things are a little different this time. Ruling BJP politician Kalyan Chaubey is at the helm of affairs at AIFF. He is also a powerful joint secretary and acting CEO of the IOA. He could convince the government to make an exception and send the football teams to the Asian Games.
According to the govt guidelines, “For team events, only those sports which have achieved a ranking up to 8thamong participating countries of Asia in the last one year, should be considered for participation in the Asian Games.”
However, a rider has been to the guidelines: “Where, in the opinion of the experts of specific sports disciplines, and that of the 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 by the ministry for appropriate decisions.”
The Indian men’s football team is ranked 18th and the women 10th in Asia. Thursday’s meeting between union home minister Amit Shah and Chaubey might have paved the way for the participation of the two teams at the Asiad. For men’s football at the Games, the U-23 national team participates but three players in the team can be 23 years and above. For women, there is no age restriction.

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