Indian Football Fans take a stand against Indian Olympic Association
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
It seems football has fallen victim to the bad blood between the two associations.
The Indian football scene is experiencing some dark times after it was revealed that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has refused to allow the Indian U-23 football team to be a part of the Asian Games this year. Not only have the All India Football Federation slammed the IOA for hindering the development of football in India, but the association has also received a lot of backlash from Indian Football fans.
Even after AIFF's hard-work at trying to send the U-23 boys and even Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine advocating for a spot in the Indian unit for the Asian Games, the IOA just doesn't see enough value in taking them to Jakarta later this year. This sorrowful rejection proves how football, despite all its development over the years, is still not regarded as a valuable sport in the country.
This rejection also came as a bitter pill to swallow for the AIFF, who slammed the IOA for having "myopic" vision and depriving this talented squad a chance to shine at the Asian Games. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das also held a press conference on Monday in which he further detailed how hard they had attempted to make sure the U-23 boys would get the opportunity to play at the event.
Das slammed the IOA for taking the decision of not allowing the Men's and Women's Football teams to participate in the Asian Games for the first time in history. He also interestingly stated that they had received no official communication, but only verbal confirmation from IOA, which adds even more intrigue to this feud.
“I think it is strange that they did not have the courtesy to inform us about the basis on which the teams are not being allowed to participate,” stated Das in the conference. This is further proof that the relationship between the AIFF and IOA isn't really that good, which might've played a part in the U-23 teams becoming victims of their bad blood.
Surprisingly, Das also confirmed that the AIFF was more than willing to bear all the expenses of the football team travelling to the Asian Games, which is quite a direct jibe at IOA not picking the team because of outstanding costs. It seems like the IOA themselves don't trust the football teams being able to come up with the goods, despite there being such a stark improvement in them in recent years.
But, the IOA came back with a reply of their own after Das' comments on Monday and in a press release of their own, they defended their actions. They brushed aside the criticism from the AIFF and stated that the rules are the same for everyone. In an official statement, the IOA said, "Fencing teams have not been cleared; in handball, only the women’s team is going. In basketball, too, only one team is going. So, the AIFF is not the only association that has been affected.”
These comments are likely to tick off Indian fans even more and some of them have also taken an initiative to destroy the reputation of the IOA. The Facebook page of the IOA has come under heavy fire from fans, who have made its rating come down from 4.6 stars to a shocking 4.1 stars!
The page now has a shocking 1300 1-star ratings and reviews which are slamming them for being so narrow-minded. This is definitely going to bring humiliation to the IOA, who have villainized themselves by trying to undermine the power of Indian football with their rejection of the U-23 teams.
Indian Football is on the rise
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday announced the contingent for the upcoming 18th Asian Games to be held from 18th August - 2nd September 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. The 524-member contingent features 277 men and 247 women athletes from a total of 36 sports disciplines.
The contingent will see athletes from a total of 36 sports, namely 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.
Athletics will have the highest number of representation with a total of 52 members participating.
There is a petition going on at change.org which has already gained over 13 thousand signatures.
Published: Wed Jul 04, 2018 05:17 PM IST