A day after the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) decision to leave out the Indian football team from the Asian Games squad, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has written to the IOA about its displeasure and stating that it is willing to fund the team's expenses, if funds are a matter of concern.
"We have officially written to the IOA that we are extremely disappointed and unhappy with its decision and how this move will be detrimental to the development of football in the country. However, if expense is an issue for the IOA, the AIFF is willing to cover the amount of travel and stay," AIFF general secretary, Kushal Das, told Sportstar .
"We've spoken to Narinder Batra (IOA president) and have stated how the team has improved since 2015 and has climbed from 173 to 97," he added.
The Indian team had a poor outing in 2014, where the side lost both its games and failed to score a single goal.
Das, however, feels that the IOA's decision to leave out the football team solely based on its performance in 2014 is unfair. "The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Authority of India has supported the development of football, but the IOA doesn't want to take such a stance.
"To simply make a decision based on what happened four years ago is not right. They should have ideally called the Federation, spoken to the coach and the technical staff and then evaluated if the team is ready to participate in the Games," he lamented.
"Sports has to be looked at differently. It's an ever-changing scenario. For example, Germany won the FIFA World Cup four years ago and they were knocked out in the group stages this time. Things change dramatically," he added.
Das concluded that the decision was a "silly one". "If you decide that the team does the have a chance to win a medal based on its performance in 2014, it's a silly decision. It is a silly decision taken without any consideration."
The last date for submitting the team entries at the Asian Games was June 30.
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