‘APOA and SAAP to be irrelevant once division becomes a reality’

The Congress decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh has led to a discussion in the sports fraternity of Seemandhra region on formation of separate sports authority and Olympic association to govern sports and games.

“The present Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association (APOA) and Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) will be irrelevant once the division becomes a reality as they are meant for a united State. We need to form for our own entities to govern sports,” felt Krishna District Olympic Association secretary K.P. Rao.

Need for infrastructure

Mr. Rao said that the construction of an Olympic Bhavan, like the one in L.B. Stadium in Hyderabad, and the headquarters of sports authority would become crucial. “We also need world class infrastructure, which unfortunately, is existent only at Hyderabad and Secunderabad. We have to start from scratch as we have good sports facilities only at Vizag,” said a senior administrator.

All the present sports associations will be divided into two and they will represent their respective States in the national events. The popular sport of the nation – cricket – is already governed by separate associations in Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad Cricket Association and Andhra Cricket Association, but the other associations like athletics, archery, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, football, tennis, chess and many others will have two associations with allegiance to their respective new States.

However, there are sports associations like hockey, kabaddi, kho kho and carrom which are functioning separately for many years.

Many felt that the bifurcation will benefit youngsters as they will get a chance to represent their State in the national events. “It will be difficult to win a slot in the AP team amid competition from 23 districts.

The division (of AP) also offers many jobs to coaches and other professionals associated with sports and games,” felt an archery administrator.