The Indian men’s national Football team will start its Asian Games 2022 campaign against China as it hopes to shine on its return to the tournament after nine years.
The Blue Tigers are ranked 18th in Asia, which is out of the threshold ranking for Asian Games qualification.
But the Sports Ministry, through a special exemption, allowed both the men’s and women’s teams to compete in the Asian Games set to be played in Hangzhou from September 23-October 8, 2023.
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 tasted success twice at the Asian Games in men’s football, winning gold in the inaugural edition in 1951 and repeating the feat in 1962.
This time, Sunil Chhetri, India’s highest goal scorer of all time, will lead the team for the Hangzhou Games and will hope for similar results achieved by the Blue Tigers over 60 years ago.
Indian men’s football team schedule for Asian Games:
Indian men’s team for Asian Games:
Blue Tigresses up against Chinese Taipei in opener
The women’s team will start its Asian Games campaign against Chinese Taipei on September 21. The top team from each group and the three best second-placed teams will progress to the quarterfinals.
The Blue Tigresses will be in action in competitive football after a 5-0 win over Kyrgyzstan in the first round of Olympic Qualifiers in June 2023 and will hope to continue the same momentum in China.
In their last appearance at the Asiad, they finished ninth out of 11 teams – a statistic they will hope to forget with better results this time around.
The team will be coached by Thomas Dennerby, the Swede who steered Nigeria to the FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16 in 2015.
Indian women’s football team schedule for Asian Games:
Indian Women’s Football Squad for Asian Games:
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