Asian Games: Football fans fluttering hopes dashed again by IOA


With ASIAD 2018 announcing fresh new draws for football competitions in Asian games and with Sports ministry’s recent statement of relaxing norms of certain sports, there were hopes fluttering that Indian football still had a chance only to be brutally squashed again


The road is long and longer are the obstacles

It’s disappointing when an opportunity comes your way and is missed due to conditions not in control of you, but its gets even more frustrating when the same opportunity knocks again and we still miss the bus for the same conditions and we can do nothing about it. Perhaps some actions could have been taken….perhaps.

There was renewed hope flickering around Indian Football fans after sports ministry in a recent statement suggested relaxation of certain criteria’s for participation of certain sports in Asian Games. With an emergency meet decided to discuss the issues of certain sports with Indian Olympic Association(IOA), there were still very little hope about Indian football’s chance after all the draws of group had already taken place back on July 5th.

However, it was the Asian Games committee’s decision to have fresh draws that renewed interest for Indian football fans. After having mistakenly left out UAE and Palestine in the previous draw due to technical error, the ASIAD 2018 decided to conduct fresh drawing of lots on 20th July (Friday) on the same day of IOA-Sports ministry meet, this time including two extra teams in UAE and Palestine, with India too having an opportunity to enter in their team. This date was then delayed to 25th of July giving India another 5 days to consider.

However the light at the end of tunnel just turned out to be illusion as once again IOA’s opinionated vision did not consider football worthy of an opportunity. The reason given was the same old one, that the teams ranked outside of top 8 are not going to make it, no matter what improvement they have done in last couple of years or to the fact that football is U23 event and there is no separate rankings for that age group.

Handball gets a reluctant node:

The Indian men’s Handball team too were earlier dropped from Asian games despite being invited and grouped in Asian Games by the organizers themselves. However the handball association took the matter to the court after which IOA reluctantly agreed to sending them as per the orders of Allahabad High Court. Football too could have taken the same route but All India Football federation had already stated against the court intervention citing sports should not be dragged into courtroom.

While the statement does look good and daring, the fact remains Indian football has lost an opportunity, twice offered in front of them

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