Pune: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has left out football team from the final contingent for the upcoming Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in Indonesia despite fervent appeal from the national governing body.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had made an appeal after India broke into top 100 and coach Stephen Constantine hoped the bunch of youngsters led by Sunil Chhetri deserved to play in the Asian Games.
On Tuesday though when IOA announced a 524-member contingent of athletes for the August 18-September 2 Asian Games, football team was sorely missing.
However, IOA cleared teams for eight new sports disciplines stating that India had shown promise in Karate, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Roller Skating, Sambo, Sepaktakraw, Triathlon and Soft Tennis.
In all, Indian contingent comprising 277 men and 247 women athletes, will vie for medals in 36 disciplines. In the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the Indian contingent featured 541 athletes across 28 disciplines.
The other disciplines where India will take part in are Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Bowling, Canoe-Kayak (Sprint), Canoe-Kayak (Slalom), Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Karate, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Roller Skating, Rowing, Sailing, Sambo, Sepaktakraw, Shooting, Squash, Aquatics—Swimming, Aquatics—Diving, Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Soft Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu.
In June, the IOA had submitted a provisional list to the Sports Ministry which had the names of 2370 athletes and officials.
“The IOA decided against sending the men and women football teams this time as they are ineligible under the existing criteria,” said Rajeev Mehta, the Secrretary General of IOA.
The decision has led to a controversy with All India Football Federation calling IOA’s decision “myopic”.