The former India captain and the current chairman of All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) technical committee, I.M. Vijayan hopes that the Union Sports Ministry will consider the appeal of the national federation to send the national under-23 teams (men and women) to the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The Asian Games allows only three over-age players in the under-23 team.
With the sports ministry recently sending an advisory to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the national federations stating that only those sports which have a continental ranking within the top eight will be considered for participation in team events. The AIFF has put an appeal to the relevant ministry to reconsider its decision and allow the football team, which has done well in recent tournaments this year, to participate.
“I feel the Indian team needs to participate in the Asian Games as it gives us a wealth of experience. The (senior) Indian team has been doing quite well this year and I am hopeful that it will be continuing with its performance in the Asian Games too. The Indian team will be playing in some big tournaments like the Asian Cup and the World Cup qualifiers later in the year and the Asian Games experience can add a lot of value,” Vijayan, who was at his former club Mohun Bagan to inaugurate the Anjan Mitra media centre, said on Thursday.
“We have also appealed to the Prime Minister to consider the team’s participation in the Asiad. And we are hopeful of getting the Government’s support,” he added.
Vijayan was also very happy with the way the Indian captain Sunil Chhetri is performing.
“He is a genius and continues to remain the true striker for India. There is no other forward in the country who can score goals like him,” Vijayan, considered one of the finest strikers to have played for the country, said. “I am really proud of him. He is disciplined, hard-working and is the best bet for the country in the attacking zone.”
- Saudi Pro League champion Al-Ittihad sacks coach Espirito Santo
- FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers: Indian women’s team to face New Zealand, USA and Italy in Pool B
- How Afghanistan’s rapid ascent in 2023 ODI World Cup came to be: A behind-the-scenes look
- James Hillier: Realistic target for Paris 2024 is to get as many athletes into the final as possible
- The drama of Maxwell’s 201: Prevents hat-trick, survives LBW scare, dropped chance on way to one of ODI World Cup’s greatest centuries