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Ministry to accept proposals

New Delhi: The sports ministry, on Tuesday, decided to accept the recommendations of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and stop several disciplines including football from going to the Asian Games at government’s cost later this month.

It has also decided to prune down the contingent to 650 sportspersons and officials from the list of 950 proposed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

“The decision is likely to be announced formally by the sports minister on Wednesday,” a source in the ministry said. “The list has been compiled strictly on the basis of current form, performance and standing in the continent,” he added.

The Indian football teams, both men and women, however, still can play in Incheon if the government allows the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to send the teams at their own cost. In that case, the AIFF would have to shell out more than Rs. 1.50 crore to play in the Asian Games.

The AIFF officials had earlier indicated that they were willing to send the teams on their own. Both the men and women teams are currently on preparatory tours to China.

In a lengthy meeting that lasted more than three hours between the sports ministry officials and IOA representatives, the government is believed to have reluctantly agreed to clear the table tennis and basketball teams.