Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Games preparation- Sports persons nightmare delight: Prof Malhotra

In a damning indictment of the preparation of the Commonwealth Games, senior vice-president of the IOA Vijay Kumar Malhotra today said 'it was fast turning out to be middle men's delight and Sports persons nightmare'.

Talking to newspersons here, Prof Malhotra said the reports that Commonwealth Games will cost the state exchequer staggering two billion dollars is mind blowing. ''Games which are meant to showcase the brilliance of the sports persons seem to have become hostage to the big hoteliares,construction companies and middle men who are laughing their way to banks.'' Prof Malhotra, who is also president of the Archery Association of India (AAI), was of the view that ''in this whole mad scramble in which land is being promised to hoteliars at throw away prices, projects are handed over to construction companies through dubious middlemen, the real actors-sportspersons have beeen forgotten.'' He said after the Manchaster Commonwealth Games and Busan Asiad (2002) government gave Rs 20 lakhs to each gold medal winner but gold medal winners at 2006's Melbourne and Doha Asiad were given only Rs 10 lakh each.

He said the government has announced that gold medal winner in the Delhi Commonwealth Games will receive Rs 10 lakhs, silver winner Rs 5 lakhs and bronze medallist Rs 3 lakhs.

''This is fifty per cent less than what our medal winners got in 2002,'' Prof Malhotra said.

He demanded that the prize money for the medal winners in the coming Commnwealth and Asian Games be increased. ''The government should enhance the prize money for Commonwealth and Asian Games to Rs 50 lakhs (gold), Rs 30 lakhs (silver) and Rs 20 lakhs (bronze) respectively.'' ''The government should make announcement to this effect immediately,'' he said.

He reminded the concerned authorties that Olympic games held in recent past at Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing and Commonwealth games at Kualalumpur. Manchester and Melbourne are being remembered for the brilliant showing of the home athletes besides the infrastructure.

''Beijing Olympic is talked about because Chinese sports persons topped the medal tally and not because of Bird's nest (athletic stadium) or for its swimming pool.'' India's medal tally at Manchester was 70 (30 gold, 21 silver and 19 bronze) and at Melbourne, the country bagged 50 medals(22 gold, 17 silver, 21 bronze) at these games we finished fourth ''If we had to finish fourth again then what is the use of spending so much of money,'' he asked.

Prof Malhotra said,''it is ridiculous to spent Rs 700 crores on the renovation of Connaught place and put it into Commonwealth games account but reduce the prize money of Players.'' ''The billions of rupees being spent on brake neck speed to complete the infrastructure is result of myopic policies adopted by the Government, which slept over these projects for nearly six years and suddenly woke up to realise that in case games flop, India will become a laughing stock in the International Sporting arena,'' he said.

''The government is following 'penny wise pound foolish' policy.

It should remember that Delhi 2010 will be remembered for the medals we win and not for the construction.

''I urge the Government to turn its attention on the preparations of the Indian contingent for the Games, because this is the chance for India to showcase its sporting prowess as the Chinese did it in Beijing or Aussies did in Melbourne,'' he added.

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