For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Sunday alleged that Narinder Batra-led Indian Olympic Association (IOA) ‘lacks vision and competence’ after the national football team was not cleared for participation in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.”It’s clear the IOA lacks the vision and competence to understand that football is a global sport played by 212 countries and that the top 5 teams in Asia play in the FIFA World Cup where the level of competition is far superior to the Asian Games,” the AIFF said in a statement.This will be the first time since the 1994 Hiroshima edition that an Indian team will not take part in the football competition of the Asian Games, which is an U-23 event with three over-age players being allowed.As per IOA regulations, only those national teams which are ranked between 1-8 at the continental level, were cleared for the Games.Accordingly, ‘Blue Tigers’, who are currently ranked 14 in Asia were denied an opportunity despite a string of good performances in international matches of late.India have qualified for the marquee Asian Cup after a gap of eight years, having last played 2011.“In fact, the premier football competition in Asia is the AFC Asian Cup where India has qualified after 8 years. IOA’s stance and myopic view comes in sharp contrast to the support of both the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India, both of whom who have been hugely supportive of Indian Football and recognised AIFF’s efforts in the last 3 years,” AIFF said.It was also learnt that AIFF president Praful Patel had called up Batra, secretary-general Rajeev Mehta and the tainted Lalit Bhanot (Chairman, Preparation Committee, Asian Games) explaining them the circumstances and also sent letters.“However, disregarding all facts, the IOA chose to stick to its original stance of sending teams ranked between 1-8 to take part, thus turning a blind eye to Indian football in the continental Games.“It is indeed a sad state of affairs for sport in India that the IOA is unable to distinguish the specific needs of each sport in the country. The IOA was never even bothered to even once discuss with the AIFF the strategy and plans for developing football in India,” the AIFF alleged.
Ghana will now play Egypt in the first leg of the final qualifying round to the Brazil 2014 World Cup, on Tuesday, October 15, at the Babayara Stadium in Kumasi.The Ghana Football Association (GFA) had initially fixed Sunday, October 13 for the game but an official statement from the GFA says the decision to change the date “is meant to give Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah more training time with the team before the match in Kumasi”.“It also falls in line with FIFA’s decision of playing the first-leg of the playsoff between 11 and 15 October.“The Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi remains the venue for the match.Kick off will be at 16:00GMT,” a statement said.However, there are speculations that the FA was forced to shift the date because, Sunday October 13 is known by the people of the Ashanti Kingdom as an ‘Akwasidae’ or a day of cleansing.Traditionally, teams that play on such a day do not do well and often lose games. The second leg is planned for between 15 and 19 November of this year.Two-leg ties will be played between both nations with the aggregate winner going to the finals in Brazil next year.