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Indian men, women football teams to participate in Asian Games in China

The Indian football team coach Igor Stimac had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant the team exemption to play in the Asian Games

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri along with teammates during a practice session during a practice session ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers match against  Afghanistan, at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata on Friday.

Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri along with teammates during a practice session during a practice session ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers match against Afghanistan, at the Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata on Friday.

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Union Minister of Youth and Sports, Anurag Thakur tweeted that the men's and women's Indan football teams will get the exemption required to participate in the Asian Games 2023. 


This has come after the Indian coach Igor Stimac and All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Choubley had appealed to the Indian Prime Minister and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to exempt the team from the norms set by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for participation in the continental extravaganza, which is set to take place in Hangzhou, China this year. 

According to IOA, only the top eight ranked Indian teams in Asia in every team sport get to play in the Asian Games. Both the men's and women's football teams of India are ranked outside the top eight in Asia. The men's team is at the 18th position in the latest rankings while the Blue Tigresses occupy the ninth place in the continental rankings. 

The rules were relaxed keeping in mind both teams' recent performances where the men's team won Intercontinental Cup and the SAFF Championship back-to-back against stronger opponents. The women's team on the other hand have had back-to-back wins against Kyrgyzstan in the Women's Olympic qualification tournament. 

The last time Indian teams participated at the quadrennial event was in 2014 when the men's team finished at a lowly 26th in the 29-team event while the women finished ninth in the 11-team event. 

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First Published: Jul 26 2023 | 6:14 PM IST

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