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Indian Men’s and Women’s Football teams are all set to participate in the upcoming Asian Games 2023

In a major development on Wednesday, the Sports Ministry granted permission to the India men’s and women’s teams to participate in the 2023 Asian Games that will be held in Hangzhou later this year.

This comes despite the teams not meeting the criteria of being among the top eight Asian teams. While the men are ranked 18th, the women are in 11th place. The AIFF had appealed to the Sports Ministry to allow both teams to participate in the Asian Games.

Sports minister Anurag Thakur confirmed the news on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.

“Good news for Indian football lovers!

Our national football teams, both Men’s and Women’s, are set to participate in the upcoming Asian Games.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, has decided to relax the rules to facilitate participation of both the teams, which were not qualifying as per the existing criterion.

Keeping in mind their latest performances in the recent times, the Ministry decided to grant the relaxation.

I am sure they will put their best foot forward in the Asian Games and make our country proud,” he said in the tweet.

The India men’s football team, led by Sunil Chhetri, had recently won the SAFF Championship title, beating Kuwait on penalties. The Blue Tigers also clinched the Intercontinental Cup and the tri-nation football tournament featuring Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar.

The women’s team, meanwhile, had won the first round of Oympic Qualifiers, emerging victorious over Kyrgyz Republic over two legs.