After days of speculation, it has been learnt that the Indian football team will not be participating in the 2018 Asian Games.
Sources in the know have confirmed to Sportstar that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that the team, which is ranked 97th in the world, will not be fielded for the event which begins in Jakarta on August 18.
National coach, Stephen Constantine, had made a public appeal to the government to send the team for the Asian Games during the recently held Intercontinental Cup. However, it looks like his appeal has fallen on deaf years.
“Neither the men's nor the women's teams have not been cleared. They had earlier told us informally that the men's team had been cleared. So much so that they had even sent mails for the jersey measurements of the players!” the source revealed.
“The AIFF is even willing to send the team on its own cost! The U-23 women's camp is going on in Bengaluru and the men's U-23 team is set to go to Australia. There were also talks of sending both the teams to Spain,” added the source.
The move will be a major blow for the Indian side, given that as many as 11 players in the current senior team are part of the U-23 team.
Earlier, the AIFF had received an informal confirmation of the team's participation and the football body was optimistic that things will take a new turn, but things haven't worked in its favour.
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