Govt heeds Constantine's plea, India set to play in Asian Games
Written by: Rohan Philip
The English tactician had earlier requested the authorities to allow the team to play in Indonesia.
Following India's thumping victory over Chinese Taipei in the ongoing Intercontinental Cup, Stephen Constantine issued an impassioned plea to the Indian government to send them to the Asian Games. Following his pleal, the Indian government has given the final nod, Allowing the Indian Colts to participate in the tournament.
According to Goal, India will take part in the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia and will undergo a preparatory camp in New Delhi from July 14th.
The Indian Men's team participated in the Asian Games 2014 as well, however, lost both of the fixtures whereas the Women's' team won only one of their three games in the tournament. Since then, a massive overhaul in Indian football structure have enabled the Blue Tigers to clinch the 97th spot in the FIFA rankings and secure an AFC Asian Cup berth next year.
Similar to the Olympics, the Asian games will only allow for a team of players under the age of 23 excluding three senior players.
This will see Stephen Constantine having to leave some of his biggest stars out of the tournament. Following their training camp, the team will fly to Australia to take part in three warm-up games, either against A-League sides or Australian age group sides to prepare for the continental tournament.
The Indian teams’ performances in previous Asian games have fallen short of expectations. However this time around, with India having attained a position in the top 100 of FIFA’s rankings and with the exponential increase in the public’s interest in their country's footballing exploits, it is within the realms of possibility to see India go far in the games.
It will also give the relative youth of Indian football an exposure to a major tournament as well as a chance to learn from the three senior players.
The senior team is now in the finals of the Hero Intercontinental Cup, after beating Chinese Taipei and Kenya before facing a shock defeat against New Zealand.
Published: Sat Jun 09, 2018 03:22 PM IST