Sports Minister Vijay Goel today said that all the teething troubles that the Indian athletes are facing at the Rio Olympic Games will be sorted out.
Addressing the issue of Indian hockey team skipping the inaugural event at Rio de Janeiro because of problem with size of some players’ jerseys, the Sports Minister said the Hockey India was in the process of sending “better kits” to the team.
“There is some talk about the jersey (of our hockey team). When our hockey team left from here, we had given them a kit. Now we are trying to send a better kit.
“The Hockey Federation is involved in this, they are sending better kits,” Goel told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference organised by Department of Post to release a set of four postage stamps to commemorate the Rio Olympic Games 2016.
Goel said that the problem of lack of furnitures for the hockey players has also been resolved.
“There have also been some reports that there is no furniture or TV sets in the rooms where our hockey team is staying. Let me clarify, that the facility arrangement and infrastructure is responsibility of the Rio Olympic Organising Committee.
“When it came to our notice, we told our officials there, to address and resolve these problems. One crore rupee has been transferred to Indian Embassy in Brazil for buying any additional items for the Indian contingent,” said Goel.
He further exuded confidence that the players will not be demotivated by small issues.
“This time we ran a target Olympic Podium scheme under which there were over 100 players and Rs 45 crore was kept as budget…the scheme will also continue for 2020 and 2024 Olympics,” he said.
Stating that the Sports Ministry customised training of players, Goel said: “Whatever facilities were needed we have given those. The best Indian coach, foreign coach, foreign training and equipments and good monthly salary, coach fee was also hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakhs.
“If any player needed any special coach, we provided that too. We have tried to send as many coaches and trainers, keeping with the rules. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already said that for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, we should start the preparations,” he said.
Goel said that the reports of lack of rapport between tennis players Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna are not true, stating, “Both of them share good on-field relationship.”
He said that the Ministry officers were available at Rio as well as in Delhi to attend to the problems of the athletes.
“Indian Embassy in Brazil is providing all necessary support. All small issues are being attended to by our officials in consultation with IOA, Federations and Rio Olympic Committee,” said Goel.
The Minister said that for the first time in the history of Olympics, Indian cuisine will be provided at the Olympics Games Village.
“On the request of Government of India and Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the International Olympic Committee has agreed to provide Indian cuisine in the Olympics Village Games Kitchen. This will help players feel at home and is expected to bring out better performance,” Goel stated in a release.