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After backlash, Centre allows Indian Football Team to participate in Asian Games 2023

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is positive about sending its top team led by talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri to the Asian Games 2023. Meanwhile, the Centre has also given an approval to the team to play for the prestigious tournament after a  meeting held with AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey. Earlier, the union government […]

Edited By : Prateek Gautam | Updated: Jul 23, 2023 17:58 IST
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Asian Games

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is positive about sending its top team led by talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri to the Asian Games 2023. Meanwhile, the Centre has also given an approval to the team to play for the prestigious tournament after a  meeting held with AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey.

Earlier, the union government had denied permission to the Indian Football team citing that the team did not qualified the ministry’s criteria. This led to an outrage among Indian fans who staged an online protest against the government’s decision.

Online protest for India Football Team

India’s exclusion from the games sparked massive online protests, with supporters demanding a second thought. Head coach Igor Stimak also pleaded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow India to participate.

Nevertheless, Kalyan Chaubey who is also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has taken control of the situation.

Of course, it was disheartening that the Indian national team had been denied permission for the Asian Games, especially after taking note of the team’s recent progress. As per the officials, it would have been a shame for Indian football to miss out on such a great opportunity.

Sunil Chhetri to lead team India at Asian Games: Reports

Skippers Sunil Chhetri and Sandesh Jhingan are also set to join with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in team, according to group familiar with the development. However, they are yet to get the green signal for their participation in the game.

A source familiar with the development told PTI, “The current national team has seven U-23 top team players and three senior players are allowed, but if the team is allowed, captain Chhetri, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and defender Sandesh Jhingan will all be in the Asian Games.”

Read More: IOA President PT Usha Faces Backlash Over Opposition to Indian Football Team’s Asian Games Participation

Under 23 team to be sent

Amid the uncertainty surrounding the reconsideration of the decision, the AIFF assembled team of players under the age of 23. The plan is to create a new pool of athletes under the age of 23 who can compete in the Asian Games if the government allows it. It will also be used in the Thai King’s Cup and the AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifiers.

Indian U23 Probable List: Read below 

Goalkeepers: Arsh Shaik, Prabshukan Gill, Hrithik Tiwari, Sachin Suresh, Vishal Yadav, Niraj Kumar.

Defenders: Hormipan Ruivah, Thoiba Singh, Akash Mishra, Abhishek Singh, Narendra Gahlot, Bikash Yumnam, Soyal Joshy, Ryan Menezes, Pagoumang Singson, Muhammed Shareef, Lalrinliana Hnmate, Robin Yadav, Sanjeev Stalin, Halen Nongtdu, Sumit Rathi.

Midfielders: Givson Singh, Mohammed Aimen, Muhammed Nemil, Ayush Chhetri, Jeakson Singh, Jiteshwor Singh, Meheson Singh, Sajal Bag, Amarhit Singh, Damait Lyndoh, Brison Fernandes, Jitendra Singh.

Wingers: Isak Vanlalruatfela, Thoi Singh, Ridge Dmello, Abdul Rabeeh, Rohit Danu, Nihal Sudesh, Ninthoi Meetei, Seilenthang Lotjem, Sourav K, Vikram Pratap Singh.

Forwards: Suhail Bhat, Irfan Yadwad, Ayush Chhikara, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Gurkirat Singh.

First published on: Jul 23, 2023 01:20 PM IST

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