The Indian football men’s team returns to the Asian Games after nine years and will start its campaign, set to be played from September 23-October 8, 2023, in Hangzhou against host China.
After a series of discussions between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs, regarding the release of players outside the FIFA window, a second-string side was finalised for the Games.
Sunil Chhetri and Sandesh Jhingan are the two notable seniors in the team, with Igor Stimac travelling as the head coach.
“It’s time to focus on what can be done within our power to open the tournament with a good fight. We cannot expect more. More importantly, I will need to approach this very carefully and discuss with the players about their physical conditions,” Stimac told reporters before flying to China.
Indian men’s football team schedule for Asian Games:
The Indian men’s side is ranked 18th in Asia, while the women’s side is 11th, both of which are out of the threshold ranking for Asian Games qualification (top 8). But the Sports Ministry, through a special exemption, cleared them for the competition.
There are six groups in the men’s competition. The top two teams from each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.
India won gold at the Asian Games twice in men’s football, in 1951 and 1962, and the bronze medal once, in 1970.
Indian men’s team for Asian Games:
Indian Women’s football schedule
On September 21, the women’s team will play Chinese Taipei to open its Asian Games campaign. The winning team from each group as well as the three best runner-up teams will advance to the quarterfinals.
After defeating Kyrgyzstan 5-0 in the opening round of the Olympic Qualifiers in June 2023, the Blue Tigresses will play competitive football and will be looking to build on that success in China.
Indian women’s football team schedule for Asian Games:
They were placed ninth out of 11 teams in their previous campaign in the Asian Games – a statistic they intend to erase with a better performance this time.
Thomas Dennerby, the Swede who steered Nigeria to the FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16, four years ago, will hope to steer India to glory in China.
Indian Women’s Football Squad for Asian Games:
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