Asian Games Snub- The IOA perspective
For the past 10 days, the controversy around India's participation in the 18th Asian Games has been in the news. But a couple of days ago it was decided that India won’t be a part of the Indonesian event as India’s name was missing in the draw.
There were a lot of protests from the fans and outrage on social media. But as neutrals, we should also take into a consideration the Olympic Association's perspective as the Indian teams do not meet the standards set by the IOA.
Firstly, the rules of the IOA clearly state that a team can be sent to the Asian Games only if it is ranked in the top 8 in the continent. Indian Football team is ranked 14th in Asia. AIFF wanted the IOA to give a special case for India as they won the Intercontinental Cup last month and also wanted the quadrennial event as a preparatory competition for the Asian Cup to be held early next year. Intercontinental Cup was contested between India, Kenya, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand, all of them ranked below India.
The AIFF already gives the age group players exposure trips so why is it necessary to send a team to the event were most of the players should be below 23.
A lot of fans pointed out that India had historically done well in the event. All these fans must take notice that this success had come minimum 55 years ago and at that time India was ranked 9th in the world, 88 places above the present ranking.
Football has always been a subject of sympathy among the Sports Fanatics. But the sport must perform well at the International level to make a case for it. In the early 2000’s shooting players too had to face hardships but because of the performance of stars like Anjali Bhagwat, Abhinav Bindra that young players today have a great infrastructure for training. Indian Football too, has to answer its critics with their performances on the field.
Lastly, Indian teams have to step up their performances in the continental and International tournaments, be in the top 8 in Asia and then make a case for themselves.