New Delhi: The sports ministry on Tuesday said it will bear the cost of kits and uniforms of the Asian Games-bound athletes, whose federations are not affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association, after the latter refused to cover these expenses.
“NO team participating in #AsianGames2018 will have to bear the expenses of kit & uniform by themselves I have directed @IndiaSports @Media_SAI to issue kits and apparel to EVERY team representing India,” sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tweeted.
Earlier, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta had said that expenses of the ceremonial dress and playing kits of the athletes would not come from its coffers.
He claimed that cost will have to be borne by the sponsors who have signed a contract with it to deal with only the affiliated federations.
He said the IOA cannot force the sponsors Li Ning (apparel) and Raymond (ceremonial dress) to also take care of those athletes, who are from non-affiliated federations. Mehta said the IOA has never footed the bill of ceremonial dress and playing kits of the athletes in the past also as the sports ministry bears these expenses for the whole contingent (for athletes of both IOA affiliated and non-affiliated federations).
“We are sending more than 540 athletes and more than 200 officials and the expenses for their attire run into crores and the 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,” Mehta was quoted as saying.
He said even in the 2014 Asian Games, the IOA had not borne the expenses of the attire of the athletes.
Of the 37 sports India is competing in the Asian Games, seven governing federations — bridge, kurash, pencak silat, roller skating, sambo, sepaktakraw, soft tennis, and sport climbing — are not recognised by IOA.
These sports constitute 114 athletes out of the 541 announced so far by the IOA.
Boat racing team to be added
PTI adds: Denied entry by the IOA, a favourable Delhi high court order has now paved the way for India’s traditional boat racing contingent to take part in the Asian Games in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2.
Abhay Singh, one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, had filed a petition in the Delhi high court against Indian Olympic Association’s decision to not send a team of the water sport at the Games as it did not meet the eligibility criteria....