March 21, 2018 9:04:00 pm
Wary of controversy, the Sports ministry will not allow family members of any athlete to travel with the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games and will also put a stop to officials “fun rides”.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has forwarded a list of 222 athletes and 106 officials, including 57 coaches, 19 managers and 41 others, for the Gold Coast event to be held from 4-15 April.
Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is yet to clear the list and it is learnt that ministry is reviewing the lost of 41 other officials.
“Ministry will take a decision on the contingent in a couple of days but we have been instructed to strictly review the number of officials while keeping the focus on players. The officials who won’t be able to stay in the Games village or enter the sporting arena. Why should we spend government money on them,” a source in the ministry told PTI Bhasha.
The athletes are getting USD 1500 from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and rest of the expenses like travel etc are being borne by the Sports ministry .
“We are examining the others category which include 41 officials and it is likely to be reduced by half. There have been complaints that officials go on free fun rides but it wont happen this time. We will try to ensure that the player – official ratio is maintained,” said the official .
“Government is paying for airfare and allowances hence we have to make sure that there should be no misuse of money. Our focus is on players and we are expecting the best- ever performance by them in this CWG .” said the official.
“Why should family members of the athlete, no matter how big star the player is, will go on government expenses as mentor or manager. If they want them, they can take on their own expenses and I am sure they can afford this,” said the official.
The official also said that this does not mean that government is cutting down support to the athletes as ministry has sanctioned 10 extra coaches for different disciplines as requested by concerned federations.
“Some federations have asked us to accommodate coaches as their quota was full so we have sanctioned 10 such extra coaches who are essential for players. It include one in hockey, five in Boxing, one in Squash (female coach) and one in weightlifting. All expenses of these extra officials will be borne by the government,” said the official.
There have been many controversies during Glasgow CWG 2014 and more recently at Rio Olympics and this time ministry does not want the repeat of any such issues.
In Glasgow the IOA was asked by the sports ministry to provide details of certain delegates after it was reported that they were provided accommodation and paid Rs 1.75 lakh for travel, local transport and food.
During the London Paralympics also the officials outnumbered players and shoddy treatment was meted out to the players and coaches.
In Rio Olympic two doctors , one of them was the son of veteran sports administrator, were part of 118-member Indian contingent without having the required qualifications.
There have been many instances in the past when family member of athletes have travelled as mentor or team manager without having any qualification for that.
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