It seems like one cannot keep away controversy from the Indian men’s handball team. First, there was a controversy regarding the team’s participation at the Asian Games 2018. Ranked 12th, the team was first not allowed to participate in the prestigious quadrennial event as the Indian Olympic Association followed a policy of allowing only entry for teams, ranked 8th or higher in Asia. Also Read - 36th National Games in Goa Postponed Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
However, the withdrawal from Australia, Uzbekistan, China, Oman and UAE effectively placed India seventh among the participating teams in Jakarta and they were given clearance to participate. Also Read - Indian Olympic Association Requests Financial Assistance of Rs 220 Crore From Sports Ministry
Now, another controversy has stirred up as the team played their opening match in casuals. The team, which lost their opening Group D match 28-38 against Chinese Taipei at the Popki indoor stadium in Jakarta on Monday, had to play in casuals with a patched Indian logo as well as squad numbers because they reportedly did not receive official uniform for the event on time. Also Read - International Hockey Federation Elections Will be Held in October: Narinder Batra
In the 13-team men’s competition, India have been clubbed with Chinese Taipei and Iraq in Group D. There are four Groups.
According to a Mail Today report, the organisers were apprehensive of letting the team participate but was later allowed to play after persuasion by the Indian officials.
It all happened as the IOA had initially refused to cover the cost of kits as well as uniforms of those Asian Games-bound athletes whose federations were not affiliated with them. However, that situation was avoided as Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore directed the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to pay for their apparel.