New Delhi: The government on Saturday added six managers, including Olympian Jude Felix who will also act as hockey coach, in the Indian contingent for Asian Games even though Indian Olympic Association had demanded for 23.
While clearing a 679-strong Indian contingent in 28 disciplines for the September 19 to October 4 Games in South Korea, the government had dropped all the managers, except for five, who have been proposed by IOA. The Sports Ministry had also barred the IOA and NSFs from sending managers at their own cost.
The IOA then wrote a letter to the sports minister to include a manager for each of the 23 disciplines, saying that the performance of athletes could be affected without managers.
But, the ministry today named five more managers while former hockey captain Felix has been cleared as coach-cum-manager. Athletics (Praveen Jolly), Kayaking and Canoeing (Balbir Singh Khushwaha), Handball (S M Bali), Rowing (M V Sriram), Sepaktakraw (V S Dahiya) will now have managers for the Games.
The government also added four more coaches -- two in archery, one each in boxing and wushu. Ravi Shankar and Chandra Shekhar Laguri have been added as recurve and compound archery coaches while Ramanand and Ravi Prakash Tripathi have been cleared as boxing and wushu coaches.
Vece Paes, father of Leander, who has pulled out of the Games, will be replaced by Anand Kumar as tennis team doctor.
Surprisingly, Wushu Association of India President Bhupender Singh Bajwa told PTI that his federation has not asked for the inclusion of a coach after the announcement of the Indian contingent.
"We are surprised that a Wushu coach has been added. We have not asked for it to the ministry though his name was there in the original list submitted by the IOA. The ministry must have done it on its own," he said.
"We would have wanted to clear all those who were in the original IOA list. But that did not happen. Now, if the ministry had to clear for one member from wushu, we would have wanted a manager or another player instead of coach. But since the ministry has cleared him, what will we do now, he will have to go to Incheon," he added.
The ministry also cleared Gaurav Mehra (physiotherapist, hockey), Amutha Prakash (video analyst, hockey) and Kamaljeet Kaur Walia (physio-cum masseuse; athletics and contingent pool) as has been requested by the IOA.
IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said that he would again write to the ministry to clear the managers in the remaining disciplines.
"The Delegates Registration Meeting will continue till tomorrow in Incheon between Indian officials and local organisers and so there is still time to add contingent members. I am writing to the ministry to clear the remaining managers as well," he said.
Asked about addition of coaches in a few disciplines instead of managers, Mehta said, "I don't know what is the ministry's rationale on this."