The Indian Olympic Association has reiterated that the contingent already cleared for the Asian Games included all eligible names, insisting that the fresh request from the Sports Ministry to consider more potential entries, if any, had already been addressed.

The Sports Ministry had, in a letter on Wednesday, asked the IOA to find out if any individuals or teams not satisfying the existing criteria could be considered as possible top-four finishers at the Asian Games.

“The Core Committee and legal committee of the IOA met on Friday and, after detailed discussions those who met the criteria of top-6 and top-8 were accordingly considered,” IOA president Narinder Batra wrote to sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar.

A senior IOA official said the ministry’s proposal was discussed in detail but all the suggestions were already covered in the existing criteria.

“Our criteria of top-6 in individual events and top-8 for team events are actually more lenient than a possible top-four finish as sought by the ministry,” he said.

The decision closes the door for football’s inclusion even though the initial 524-strong list is likely to increase marginally after the inclusion of a three-member Sport Climbing and 24-member Bridge squad.

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