HI-SAI in collision course after cancellation of women`s camp

New Delhi: A war of words have broken out between Hockey India and Sports Authority of India regarding the cancellation of junior women hockey team`s national camp with the SAI accusing HI of overshooting the allocated budget.

The government did not clear the national junior women`s hockey camp that was slated to start in Bhopal yesterday and SAI blamed HI for the cancellation.

"Hockey India was allocated a budget of Rs 10.50 crore for its Annual Calendar of Training and Competitions for 2014-2015. Hockey India was required to determine its priorities for competitions and training within this budget," the SAI said in a statement.

"Any additional funding for its additional requirements depends on various factors including availability of funds under the relevant scheme. Hockey India is also reported to have substantial funds of its own, raised from various sources. It is expected that these funds would also be used to meet the expenditure towards training of athletes.

"It is not mandatory for the Government to finance every activity proposed by the National Sports Federations. All National Sports Federations including Hockey India are required to mobilise additional resources to fund their various activities," the statement said.

SAI`s reaction came after HI secretary general Narinder Batra yesterday filed an RTI against sports secretary Ajit Sharan and SAI director general Jiji Thomson for not clearing the camp.

The SAI also stated it has already released Rs 11.27 crore during 2014-15 for various activities relating to Hockey India as against the allocated budget of Rs 10.50.

Batra responded by saying that SAI was welcome to inspect HI`s balance sheet.

Batra slammed SAI for the comment that HI also has to pump in funds for the development of the game.

"We gave a proposed budget of Rs 42 crores for the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) of 2014-15. But SAI only allocated Rs 10.50 crores. To add to it SAI only gives 75 per cent of that amount while the rest 25 per cent are borne by us," Batra told PTI.

"My balance sheet is clear. Our source of income from sponsorships are other things is just Rs 12 crore. And we end up spending more than that."

Batra said leaving aside three foreign coaches -- Terry Walsh, Roelant Oltmans and women`s team chief coach Neil Hawgood -- it is HI which is responsible for the payment of salary of other coaching staff associated with Indian hockey.

"Where does the salary of M K Kaushik, Jude Felix, High Performance Managers of respective zones like V Baskaran, Sukhbir Singh Grewal and employees of Hockey India come from. Does SAI pay them?

"Besides, HI conducts all the national championships. We conduct six national championships in a year, the cost of which is nearly Rs 3 to 4 crores. SAI doesn`t give anything. HI doesn`t have any surplus money whatever we have we give it back it to the game," Batra claimed.

In the Right To Information petition, Batra sought information on the cost incurred by both Sharan and Thomson on domestic and international tours from the time of joining the sports ministry and SAI till date.

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