Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha and All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey met with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Dame Louise Martin during the regional meetings in Brisbane, where delegates from 21 countries from Asia and Oceania took part. The AIFF president made the case for a U23 football tournament in the Commonwealth Games like it's held in the Olympics and Asian games.

During the meeting, the CWF president laid out the issues with FIFA as they have resisted the inclusion of football in regional events. The AIFF president told TOI, "During the discussion, the president said that there are some issues with FIFA (on the inclusion of football). Then I suggested instead of  a senior men’s championship, you can have an under-23 event like in the Olympics and Asian games."

Chaubey felt that if football is included in the Commonwealth then lower-ranked nations like India will get great exposure against bigger teams like England, Wales, and Australia. The president explained that there is a wide gap between the top 70 teams and the lower ranked team because they don’t get to play the top teams often. The former India goalkeeper continued, "For India, this can make a big difference. If our under-23 features at the Commonwealth Games and play higher-ranked teams, it will do them a world of good. These players will go on to be seniors in two years."

Kalyan Chaubey beat Bhaichung Bhutia to become the president of the All India Football Federation. The former Indian men's national team goalkeeper succeeded Praful Patel for the post and became the first former footballer to hold the top spot in the sports body. He is also the joint secretary of the Indian Olympic Association. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Commonwealth Games Australia unveiled the full sports program for the Victoria 2026 CWG, featuring 20 sports and 26 disciplines, including nine fully integrated para-sports.