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Updated: March 6, 2010 19:11 IST

‘Not inviting AAI officials for inauguration of stadia is unfair’

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BJP leader and Archery Association of India (AAI) president V. K. Malhotra. File photo
The Hindu
BJP leader and Archery Association of India (AAI) president V. K. Malhotra. File photo

Archery Association of India (AAI) president V. K. Malhotra today lamented that none of the game's body official was invited at the inauguration of the Yamuna Sports Complex.

Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy inaugurated the archery venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the Yamuna Sports Complex here yesterday.

“The Yamuna complex is for hosting archery and it is important that the ministry works with the federation because it has to be used by the AAI after all. It is unfair to ignore the officials in its inauguration in this way,” Mr. Malhotra said.

“Even during the inauguration of the venues for hockey, shooting and boxing, no official from the respective federations was invited. This is unfair,” he added. The BJP leader lashed out at the government for splurging in the name of giving the city a face lift, while neglecting the athletes who bring laurels for the country.

Mr. Malhotra circulated copy of a letter which he has written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to inform about the waste of money in the name of hosting the Commonwealth Games.

“The government is expending Rs 30,000-40,000 crores for the Commonwealth Games and I think the medal winners deserve at least a small percentage of that,” Mr. Malhotra said.

“During the 2002 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, medal winners were paid Rs 20 lakhs, 15 lakhs and 10 lakhs for gold, silver and bronze but for the 2006 edition the athletes were given Rs 10 lakhs, 5 lakhs and 3 lakhs,” Mr. Malhotra said

“Even athletes who did well in the South Asian Games were not given any renumeration. We want that for the Commonwealth Games in October the amount should be increased,” he added.

Mr. Malhotra also said that security for the test event should not be made so stringent that spectators are scared to go to watch the tournament.

“Security is beefed up and it is important but I think it should not be made so harsh that people don't turn up to watch the tournament,” he said.

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