Allow Indian football team to play at the Asian Games; the whole nation is with them

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Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Honble Minister of State
(Independent Charge)
Ministry of Youth Affairs And Sports

Respected Sir,

This is to bring to your notice that, what is being seen as a major setback for the Indian Football Team, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided against sending them for the Asian games 2018 to be held in Jakarta and Palembang on the pretext that India is not ranked among top 5 in football in Asia. This is according to the existing rule for all other sports.

However logical this rule might sound, this is not applicable to team games. In team games there have been zillions of examples where poorly ranked teams have done excellent in tournaments. The classic example being South Korea which was ranked 40 in the world when they reached the semi-final of 2002 World Cup. Japan, ranked 61 in the world has reached the round of 16 in 2018 World Cup football and scored two goals against Belgium, ranked 3 in that match.

Indian Football is witnessing a steady rise in the past few years. The national side has jumped from 173 to 97 in the FIFA rankings, qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and has successfully hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The 'Blue Tigers' are currently ranked 14th in Asia, after a string of good performances in international matches of late.

The Indian football team has been hoping to use the Asian games as a build up for next year's AFC Asian Cup.

It also seems that IOA's view is in sharp contrast to that of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Through this petition we would request you to please allow Indian football team to participate in the 2018 Asian Games. I am sure they would perform very well and bring us immense pride.

Warm regards



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