Indian Govt can’t pay Hockey team’s airfare to Malaysia for Azlan Shah: Withdraws participation

This is amazing nonsense from the Indian Government!  The Government now says that it doesn’t have money to send the team to Malaysia for the Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament.  It is a 5 time champion at the tournament.  The budget for Hockey by the Government is Rs 10 crores 50 lakhs, and the cost of the trip would have been Rs 30 lakhs.  So, where did the money go??

Imagine the ignominy, when even Pakistan makes it to the tournament and we – the growing economic power, the next Super Power – say well, we didn’t have money for the air fare to …. .MALAYSIA!!??

Update: Apparently, the Indian Govt. has now approved the journey, after the team had been withdrawn from the tournament.

The sports ministry on Tuesday overruled the Sports Authority of India’s decision not to clear Indian men hockey team’s trip to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a stern warning to Hockey India (HI) not to overshoot its budget in future.The sports ministry’s decision came minutes after the tournament to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 9 to 17.Sports secretary Pradip Kumar Deb said that the ministry has cleared the trip after the case was forwarded by SAI, which had refused to sanction the trip citing budget issues.

“We have an annual budget of Rs. 5.94 crores for Hockey India, but they crossed it and we have already spent Rs. 11.27 crores. So SAI didn’t clear the case and forwarded it to us. I have cleared the trip since Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a top tournament and the team will get good exposure,” said Deb.”But we have warned HI that in future they should not cross the budget,” he added.  HI said SAI has made it clear that the men’s team will play the tournament at no cost to government.”Hockey India has been forced to withdraw its participation from the tournament. Government has always covered the airfare of the team for this tournament till date,” HI said in a statement.

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Desh Kapoor

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