IOA, Sports Ministry at loggerheads over officials for Commonwealth Games

Less than two weeks before the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, Australia, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Ministry are at loggerheads over approving names of officials in the Indian contingent. 

IOA, Sports Ministry at loggerheads over officials for Commonwealth Games
Members of India's CWG contingent with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and IOA President Narinder Batra (Photo: IOA)

New Delhi: Less than two weeks before the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, Australia, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Ministry are at loggerheads over approving names of officials in the Indian contingent. 

The IOA held an official send-off ceremony for the contingent at a city hotel here on Thursday, but the battle between the IOA and Sports Ministry hogged the limelight as the IOA president, Narinder Batra, and Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta, had to answer some tough questions.

The bone of contention largely seems to be the names under the head 'Extra Officials' in the list sent out by the IOA to the Sports Ministry.

"We haven't yet had an official confirmation from the Ministry, but to do this just 15 days from the Games is absurd," said Batra. "Having said that, I am merely a postman. The federations send us the list. We simply forward it to the Ministry for approval.

"But to delete names of physiotherapists is hard to believe as they are required to keep the athletes fit and free of injury," the IOA president added.

According to sources, the only physiotherapist part of the squash team has been struck off by the Ministry, besides two managers, a physio and a masseuse in the table tennis contingent. Names of two physios part of the wrestling squad have also been removed.

It has also been learnt that the name of Indian contingent's Chief Medical Officer has also been removed by the Ministry. 

"We will surely have a word with the Ministry once we receive the final approved list," Batra said. 

The Sports Ministry, according to sources, is miffed over the names of officials who can't stay in the Games Village or enter a competition venue. Also, it disapproves of the names of family members of players on the list. Sources told Zee Media that some of the star sportspersons had asked for the names of their parents to be included.

Interestingly, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was not part of the send-off ceremony, in which the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, was the Chief Guest.

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