New Delhi: The Centre has finally given the nod to football for Asian Games, though the formal clearance is being delayed because of Union sports minister Vikram Verma’s absence.
IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh Friday clarified that since India will next year be staging the inaugural Afro-Asian Games, which involves eight disciplines, teams from each such discipline will be sent for exposure to the Busan Games.
Though India did not have medal hopes in swimming and football, the IOA still recommended their clearance at government expense. A token squad of not more than five swimmers will be sent to Busan.
Bhaichung Bhutia will stay football captain. Shasthi Duley has been dropped.
The sports minister is expected to return this weekend. The squad’s departure may be delayed till Wednesday and thus they will reach the venue just two days before their opening tie. The squad has successfully undergone the mandatory dope test.
Goalkeepers: Naseem Akhtar, Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Sangram Mukherjee; Defenders: Debjit Ghosh, Satish Bharti, Deepak Mondal, Arun Malhotra, Mahesh Gawli, Sameer Naik; Midfielders: Tomba Singh, K. Monitomba Singh, Jo Paul Ancheri, Bijen Singh, S. Venkatesh, P. Rennedy Singh, K. Ajayan; Forwards: Bhaichung Bhutia (captain), Alex Ambrose, Praveen Kumar, Abhishek Yadav. Chief Coach: Stephen Constantine. Technical director: Sukhwinder Singh. Assistant coach: Aloke Mukherjee. Manager: Santo Mitra.
Same set of players
Hockey selectors have named the same set of players that performed creditably at the recent Champions Trophy in Cologne.
MEN’S HOCKEY SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan, Bharat Chettri; Defenders: Dilip Tirkey (capt.), Kanwalpreet Singh, Dinesh Nayak; Midfielders: Jugraj Singh, Vikram Pillay, Bimal Lakra, Viren Rasquinha, Bimal Lakra; Forwards: Gagan Ajit Singh, Daljit Singh Dhillon and Tejbir Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur, Dhanraj Pillay. Chief coach: Rajinder Singh.