After much speculation and drama in the build-up to the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the Indian Men’s Handball team was finally given clearance for the mega event. Previously, the Indian Olympic Association had not included the boys in their original list, but after the Handball Federation of India (HFI) lodged a complaint in the Allahabad High Court they were given the green light after a judicial intervention.
According to the IOA, teams ranked 8th or higher will be sent for the marquee event. On this condition, the man’s handball team was overlooked despite finding a name in the draws for the upcoming 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. In an attempt to reverse the decision, the top official of the Handball Federation of India (HFI) Anandeshwar Pandey, who is also the treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), had earlier appealed to the High Court.
“We decided to clear men’s handball team for the Asian Games. After the court decision, it was referred to IOA legal commission which also cleared it. I have written to Asian Games Organising Committee to consider men’s handball team’s official entry in the Asian Games,” said IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta to the PTI.
He added, “We have made the official communication that men’s handball team be allowed to take part in the Games. It is now for the Games organisers to decide on it.” Meanwhile, the Women’s handball team had already been cleared for the Asian Games.
In other similar incidents, the Indian National Football Team was scrapped from the Indian contingent on the same condition that it does not rank in the top 8. The triathlon team was dropped days after the final list was announced and yesterday, 20 names from the Pencak Silat contingent also faced the axe.
With just a month left for the Asiad to begin, hopefully, incidents like these won’t take place any more or else it could hamper the overall performance of the Indian contingent.