Now, handball federation goes to court

The men's handball team, as per the federation, is ranked 7th among the participating teams at the Games after five higher ranked teams pulled out and as such should get clearance.

The Indian Olympic Association has refused to clear the men's Indian handball team. (Representative Image)   -  V. Raju

Even as the sports ministry is still seeking clarifications and additional information from all parties over Indian entries at the upcoming Asian Games, the Handball Federation of India (HFI) has joined the bandwagon of those seeking legal support for participation.

The men's handball team, as per the federation, is ranked 7th among the participating teams at the Games after five higher ranked teams pulled out and as such should get clearance.

However, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has categorically denied the same and refused to clear the team. The ministry has indicated its tacit support to the decision even though a final say on participation remains with it.

The handball federation, in a communique, has intimated about a writ petition filed in the Lucknow High Court seeking interim relief against the IOA decision.

Interestingly, the entire issue blew up after the Asian games draw for the sport included the Indian team despite not being included in the shortlist of 523 athletes cleared by the IOA. The women's team has already been approved.

The final list is likely to be cleared by the ministry in the coming week after consultations with the IOA and other NSFs.