Hockey India president Narinder Batra on Wednesday shot off a letter to the IOA top brass, asking the sports body to allow eight coaching and support staff each for the men and women’s national teams at the Rio Olympics.
“Hockey Indian stands firm that eight coaching and support staff with each men and women hockey teams (total 16 coaching and support staff) are required to accompany each of the teams,” Batra wrote in his missive.
The letter has been addressed to Indian Olympic Association president N Ramachandran and secretary general Rajeev Mehta.
“The matter of number of coaching and support staff accompanying each of the men’s and women’s teams has been addressed by Hockey India in its various correspondence to IOA. We request to utilise the permitted allocation of accreditation in the best interest of the athletes and by not doing so, IOA will be undermining all the preparations and hard work of the athletes,” Batra wrote.
Batra warned that if the IOA does any sort of compromise then it will be held responsible for the teams’s showing at the Rio Games.
“If the IOA indulges in compromising then Hockey India will assume that the IOA has decided to demoralise the teams even before they have left for Olympic Games and then IOA should be prepared to take moral responsibility in case the teams are not able to give their best performance during the Olympics,” Batra further wrote in the letter.
In his response, Rajeev Mehta said that the percentage of accompanying officials cannot be more than 40 per cent of the total athletes qualified.
“The percentage of accompanying officials cannot be more than 40 per cent of the total athletes qualified but the names we have received from each of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) is far more,” wrote Mehta.
He has also urged all the NSFs to send the final list of the accompanying officials (maximum 40%) to the IOA by June 24.