Will bear cost of kits, uniforms of Asian Games-bound athletes, says Sports Ministry
Mehta said this has been an established norm and the IOA has never foot the bill of non-Olympic sports and the ones not affiliated with it.
The Sports Ministry today said it will bear the cost of kits and uniforms of the Asian Games-bound athletes, whose federations are not affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association after the IOA refused to cover these expenses.
Earlier, the IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said expenses of the ceremonial dress and playing kits of the athletes do not come from its coffers. He claimed that cost will be borne by the sponsors who have signed a contract with it to deal with only the affiliated federations.
He said the IOA cannot force the sponsors Li Ning (apparel) and Raymond (ceremonial dress) to also take care of those athletes, who are from non-affiliated federations. Mehta said this has been an established norm and the IOA has never foot the bill of non-Olympic sports and the ones not affiliated with it.
He also said the Rs 50 lakh insurance offer to the athletes by Edelweiss does not the cover players from non-affiliated federations.
"We are sending more than 540 athletes and more than 200 officials and the expenses for their attire run into crores and IOA has limited resources. So we signed these contracts with the sponsors but they cover only the players of the federations affiliated to the IOA and not outside it," Mehta told PTI.
"The sponsors get commercial value from association with us. They (sponsors) get commercial mileage from it, say from the interviews, branding or endorsement of their products by the top athletes, so they get benefit from these contracts. We cannot force them to deal with athletes not affiliated to us," he added.
"Everybody knows the government bears all these expenses, we are not a rich organization," Mehta said.
Asked about federations such as kurash, spot climbing and pencak silat who are neither affiliated to the IOA nor recognised by the Sports Ministry, Mehta said, "If they have got recognition from Olympic Council of Asia (hence taking part in the Asian Games) but are yet to get recognition from the Sports Ministry, what can we do? We are not involved in that."
Out of the 37 sports India is competing in the Asian Games, seven governing federations -- bridge, kurash, pencak silat, roller skating, sambo, sepaktakraw, soft tennis, and sports climbing -- are not recognized by IOA. These sports constitute 114 athletes out of the 541 announced so far by the IOA.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)