The Sports Ministry on Thursday instructed the Sports Authority of India and the National Sports Federations to ensure that athletes give preference to national assignments over prize money tournaments.

The Ministry has asked the Sports Authority of India and National Sports Federations to “curb the tendency amongst sportspersons for giving preference to playing in prize money tournaments rather in tournaments where India participates for medals rather than cash awards.”

In a communication sent to Director General of Sports Authority of India and Presidents/Secretary Generals of all recognised NSFs, the Ministry said of late it has noticed sportspersons, belonging to various disciplines avoid playing in tournaments where India as a team participates for medals.

“Individual players will be able to avail grants given to NSFs by the Ministry only if they undertake to play in Indian team when called upon to do so without reservations,” the letter from the Ministry to SAI and NSFs, stated.

“If there are specific exigencies because of which they are unable to play, this should be verified by the concerned NSF which thereupon can make an exception at their discretion,” it further added.

The Ministry has asked the NSFs to give wide publicity to these instructions and take necessary steps to ensure compliance.

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