NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) asking them to reconsider the selection of teams or athletes for the upcoming Asian Games 2018.
In a letter, the Ministry pointed out that there are some teams and athletes who have been performing really well from past six months but could not qualify for selection due to lack of exposure or participation in ranking events.
It added that these teams and athletes have a strong chance of winning a medal or making a top-four finish.
"There have been concerns raised from various quarters and in newspaper reports that many deserving sportspersons/teams are not able to participate due to their inability to meet the above guidelines because of various reasons, inter-alia, due to less exposure its tournaments, restrictive spread, etc," the letter by the Sports Ministry reads.
It added, "Accordingly, a view has emerged in this Ministry that specific relaxation of the norms prescribed vide the order dated 10.03.2015 may be considered by this Ministry purely on merits to allow sending of entries of teams/athletes for such sports disciplines which are otherwise not eligible for participation in the Asian Games 2018, to be held in Indonesia in the larger interest of Sports and sportspersons."
The Ministry further said that the IOA, in consultation with the concerned National Sports Federations (NSFs), may reassess the decisions taken by them for sending entries of teams for the Asian Games and send their recommendations, if any in respect of sports disciplines which are not eligible for participation in the Asian Games.
The Ministry also said that based on the recommendations of the IOA, it may consider including sports discipline(s) or athletes as part of the Indian contingent for the Asian Games 2018.
On July 3, the IOA announced a 524-member contingent for the upcoming 18th Asian Games.
The contingent features 277 men and 247 women athletes from a total of 36 sports disciplines namely Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Bowling, Canoe-Kayak (Sprint), Canoe-Kayak (Slalom), Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Karate, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Roller Skating, Rowing, Sailing, Sambo, Sepaktakraw, Shooting, Squash, Aquatics - Swimming, Aquatics - Diving, Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Soft Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu.
Athletics will have the highest number of representation, with a total of 52 members participating in the prestigious games.
The 2018 Asian Games is slated to be held at Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.