Little chance of Indian athletes winning CWG medals: AFI chief

Lucknow: Claiming that Indian coaches are of school and college level, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille J Sumariwalla today said there was little chance of Indian athletes winning medals at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

"Indian coaches are of school and college level. They are not of the level to produce international level sportsmen. Even their thoughts do not meet the expectations. If we want medals in Asian or Commonwealth Games, it would not be possible without the foreign coaches," Sumariwalla told reporters at a press conference organised on occasion of 54th National inter-state (seniors) Athletics Championship 2014.

Alleging that the previous UPA government ignored athletics, Sumariwalla said that in the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3, the chances of Indians winning medals were less than that in 2010 and new Belarusian coach Nikolai Snesarev has arrived just two-three months back.

"He did not have time to change future of Indian athletes in one month", he added.
Sumariwalla said that after 2010 CWG, a road map was given to the previous UPA government for the next edition, but it paid little heed to it.

"The facilities which were demanded four years ago have been given now. There was lack of coordination between the government and the federation. No one used to pay heed to the problems," he alleged.

The president also said that Snesarev, who had given athletes like Sudha Singh, Sridharan, Kavita Raut in 2010 had demanded hike in honorarium -- a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge -- but the Centre refused it.

"It took four years to get him back as coach again," Sumariwalla said. Holding coaches responsible for doping problems, he said, "if they are responsible, they should be sent to jail".
Sumariwalla expressed hope that the newly elected Narendra Modi-led government will promote sports in the days to come.

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