The women’s softball and men’s water polo sides were among four teams to miss out even as 15 others were cleared by the Sports Ministry for the upcoming Asian Games on Wednesday.
In a letter to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the Indian Olympic Association withdrew the women’s softball and men’s water polo sides, men’s handball and basketball 5x5 teams respectively.
“In view of the Team Draw Ceremony scheduled to be held on 27th July 2023 NOC India would like to inform the HAGOC that the entries for the following Team Sports should stand withdrawn,” the letter read on Wednesday.
“Water polo, Basketball 5x5 Men Team, Handball Men Team, Softball,” it added.
The teams that have got the green signal from the Ministry include the men’s and women’s cricket, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s kabaddi, women’s handball, women’s rugby, women’s 5x5 basketball, men’s and women’s basketball 3x3, men’s and women’s volleyball side and the men’s and women’s football teams.
Director (Sports) in the ministry, SPS Tomar said the teams which have got clearance would be send “at cost to the Government in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022.” “The entries made for other teams should be withdrawn. The approval for participation of the rest of the contingent will be conveyed in due course of time. This issues with the approval of the Competent Authority,” Tomar added.
While the men’s and women’s football teams got the clearance despite not meeting the ministry’s selection criteria of being inside the top 8 in Asia, the men’s waterpolo team, which is ranked 9th in Asia failed to receive the green signal.
“It is very unfortunate and disappointing that the water polo side has missed out despite being ranked ninth,” Swimming Federation of India secretary Monal Chokshi told PTI.
The development also came as a surprise to Softball Association of India, which had announced the women’s team for the continental event on Monday.
“I am hearing it just now. This is quite a shocking information. We have already announced the team. I have not received any information officially yet.
“I have absolutely no information regarding this and neither I got any fillers as to something like this can happen,” Softball Association of India president Neetal Narang told PTI.
The Hangzhou Asian Games is scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8 in China.
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