Former athletes protest over deletion of Joseph`s name

Kochi: Kerala sportspersons on Wednesday came down against the controversial deletion of the name of Tom Joseph, former International spiker from the list of those selected for Arjuna award.

Former Asian Games silver medalist Mercy Kuttan, told reporters here that Kerala athletes and players had always been discriminated. She claimed that she herself was given the Arjuna award rather late.

Former Internationals Kishore Kumar and S A Madhu said it was unfortunate that Tom Joseph`s name had been deleted.

"He deserves the award. In the past, even those not deserving had been selected for the prestigious award," they said.

They also demanded that the criteria of selection to be refined.

Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson, has already expressed displeasure over the deletion of Joseph`s name from the list agreed upon. The name was deleted in the absence of Thomson.

Joseph`s name was deleted for the ninth consecutive year.