AIFF Awaits Asian Games Accreditation After Ministry Clears Teams
Despite the relief after the Sports Ministry's clearance of both, men's and women's national football teams for the Asian Games, the AIFF had to cancel their flight tickets to Incheon due to the impending accreditation from Asiad.
In a relief to All India Football Federation, the Sports Ministry today cleared the country's men and women teams at no cost to the federation for the Asian Games, but delay in getting accreditation has forced the AIFF to cancel tickets to Incheon for the second time.
The Games is slated to be held in Incheon, Korea from September 19-October 4.
The AIFF will now get the accreditation, which also doubles up as visa, for the 45-member group from Indian Olympic Association only on Wednesday.
"We were hoping to get the accreditation today and then send them through someone tonight to Shanghai, where the teams are stationed presently. We had booked new tickets for the players for September 11 after cancelling the earlier tickets for today. And now there is another cancellation," an AIFF official told PTI.
"The AIFF is exploring all possible options to see if the teams can fly out on 11th itself but, in all likelihood, the teams can't depart before 12th morning. We have also re-booked the ticket for the person carrying the accreditation to Shanghai," he added.
Both the teams had gone for exposure tours to China from where they were to leave for Incheon today as per the original schedule.
Meanwhile, the final list of players who would be boarding the flight to Incheon have also been named by both men's and women's coaches Wim Koevermans and Tarun Roy respectively.
Dempo's Alwyn George, Pune FC duo Salam Ranjan Singh and Dhanpal Ganesh and Sporting Clube De Goa's Rowlin Borges failed to make the cut for the U-23 Indian men's side. On the other hand, Supriya Routray, Indumathi, Jyoti Ann Burrett and Rinaroy Devi won't be travelling to Incheon along with the women's squad.
Clubbed in Group A alongside hosts South Korea, Maldives and Thailand, the Indian women play their first group league match against Maldives on September 14.
The other matches are against South Korea on September 17 and Thailand after a day's break. The under-23 men, on the other hand, take on the might of last Games' silver medalists UAE in their first group league match on September 15 while their last match in the group is against Jordan on September 22.