After the Indian Olympic Association refused to cover cost of kits as well as uniforms of those Asian Games-bound athletes whose federations are not affiliated with them, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that he has directed Sports India to issue the same to ‘every’ team representing India.
Rajyavardhan Rathore wrote in a tweet, “No team participating in Asian Games 2018 will have to bear the expenses of kit and uniform by themselves. I have directed @IndiaSports @Media_SAI to issue kits and apparel to every team representing India.”
The IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta had earlier said that they do not cover the expenses of ceremonial dress and playing kits of the athletes as this cost is borne by sponsors who have signed a contract with it to deal with only the affiliated federations.
In an interview to PTI, Mehta had said, “We are sending more than 540 athletes and more than 200 officials and the expenses for their attire run into crores and IOA has limited resources. So we signed these contracts with the sponsors but they cover only the players of the federations affiliated to the IOA and not outside it.”
“The sponsors get commercial value from association with us. They (sponsors) get commercial mileage from it, say from the interviews, branding or endorsement of their products by the top athletes, so they get benefit from these contracts. We cannot force them to deal with athletes not affiliated to us,” he added. “Everybody knows the government bears all these expenses, we are not a rich organisation.”