New Delhi, July 27 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed his happiness over Indian men’s and women’s football teams’ participation in the upcoming Asian Games 2023.
The Sports Ministry on Wednesday gave an exemption to Indian football teams to participate in the upcoming Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23. The development came weeks after it was reported that the football teams will not be taking part in the continental event as per the existing criterion of the sports ministry.
The sports ministry’s rule states that in team sports, only those in the top eight will get the nod and Indian national football menâ€™s and womenâ€™s teams are currently ranked 18th and 11th respectively. However, an exemption has been made and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur confirmed the participation of both Blue Tigers and Blue Tigress in the continental showpiece event.
On Thursday, responding to the tweet by the AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, the Prime Minister said: “Great news for football fans across India! It will also encourage upcoming talent in this sport.”
The Indian men’s team, which will be participating in the Asian Games for the first time after a nine-year gap, has clinched gold in the inaugural edition in 1951, followed by another top finish in 1962, and a bronze medal finish at the 1970 games.
Football in the Asian Games is a U-23 tournament with three players above that age are also permitted in a team.
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