New Delhi: The government on Wednesday allowed five out of the 28 disciplines to include managers in their respective squads for the upcoming Asian Games even though the Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federations slammed the move.
While clearing a 679-strong Indian contingent for the September 19 to October 4 Games in Incheon, South Korea, the Sports Ministry yesterday dropped all the managers, except for five, who have been proposed by the IOA in its list of 942 athletes and officials.
The managers named in the sports ministry's list which was cleared after consultation with the Prime Minister's Office include tennis star Sania Mirza's mother Naseema Mirza, Rajan F Irani (golf), V K Dhal (shooting), Ramavtar Singh Jakhar (volleyball) and K D Singh (yatching).
The ministry had also barred the IOA and the NSFs from sending managers at their own cost as it said that the principle of "no cost to government" will not apply for adding any other name to the contingent.
The IOA had made a request to the ministry to re-consider its decision to exclude managers from the Indian contingent but the government today said that the list issued yesterday was final and no changes will be made in this regard.
"We are not making any changes in the list. So no managers will be added, the list is final now," Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson told PTI.
"The IOA and the NSFs are making it a big issue. Not having managers is a minor issue. Coaches can be designated as coach-cum-manager and that can be done easily and accepted by the organising committees of multi-sporting events," he said.
The IOA and NSFs, on the other hand, contended that the contingent will face difficulties without managers and that could impact the performance of the athletes. They also questioned the government's decision not to allow the IOA and NSFs to send officials on their own cost.
"In every discipline, the manager is required to perform certain functions. Coaches cannot perform these functions. There will be managers' meeting before the start of competition in every discipline and how can coaches take part in it and prepare the team for next day's match, training etc?" asked IOA Joint Secretary Rakesh Gupta.
"Sometimes in these kind of mega events, there used to come up issues like loss of passport etc. And if the coaches will have to look after these things, then who will take care of the on-field performance of the athletes?" he asked.