The Asian Games will begin on the 23rd in Hangzhou, China. But before that some competitions like football, cricket, volleyball and beach volleyball start. The football match will be held from today (Tuesday) till October 7. The 21 teams participating in the men’s division are divided into 6 divisions. Each team will play the other teams in their division once each. At the end of the league round, the top 2 teams in each division and the top 4 teams in the 3rd position will advance to the second round (Round-16).
The Indian team, which is placed in the ‘A’ category, will meet China today in its first league match. ISL The Indian football team left for China the day before yesterday due to the problem of club managements releasing the players due to the late transfer of players and forced to not engage in adequate training together. Due to ‘visa’ issue, back players Ghonsam Singhlensana Singh and Lalchungnunga did not accompany the team. They have been informed that they are applying for an express visa and will be going to China in a day or two.
Also, senior players Sunil Chhetri and Sandesh Jinkan will not play in today’s match according to head coach Igor Stimag. Inadequate rest and training and the absence of some of the leading players is seen as a setback for the Indian team. It will be a tough challenge for the Indian team to face the strong China at home in the opening game. Sony Sports Ten 5 channel will telecast the match live at 5 PM IST.
Similarly, 16 teams are participating in the women’s football tournament which will start on 21st. They are divided into 5 categories. India, which is part of the ‘B’ group, is also joined by Chinese Taipei and Thailand. Indian women’s team will face Chinese Taipei in their first match on 21st.