Government responsible for Games mess, says Malhotra


New Delhi : Vijay Kumar Malhotra, president of General Association of National Sports Federations (GANSF), took serious exception to Sports Minister M.S. Gill blaming federations for the inordinate delay in readying stadiums and other infrastructure and said the government is responsible for the mess.

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“It is a shocking and unacceptable observation of Sports Minister M.S.Gill. The sports and urban development ministries are responsible for this mess and chaos. The federations were hardly consulted by the government when it went for massive constructions,” Malhotra said.

He said the GANSF was willing to cooperate with the sports ministry and other government agencies for the successful conduct of the Games.

“For us,a the Games are matter of national pride but Mr. Gill seems to treat it as party affair,” Malhotra, veteran Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader from Delhi, added.

“Only three weeks are left for the Games, but still a lot of works remains to be completed and the government instead of seeking cooperation from sports federations is trying to start a blame game,” he said.

Malhotra, who is also the Commonwelath Games Organising Committee’s executive board member and president of Archery Association of India (AAI), said the sports minister in his effort to hide his “failure and incompetence” has started blaming the federations.

“When practically all participating countries are concerned about the delay in completion of stadiums, dengue and security, the sports minister’s priority was criticism of sports federations and the IOA in the State Sports Ministers’ Conference.”

He said the prime minister and the sports minister have time and again told the media that stadiums and all other infrastructure should have been ready at least one year ago.

“All the agencies involved in the contruction of the infrastructure – DDA, PWD, CPWD belong to the government while the urban development ministry along with the sports ministry was monitoring the progress. Sports federations hardly figured in their scheme of things,” he said.

“The city is in the mess, Connaught Place and several other areas were dug out for the benefit of the contractors and middlemen. Are sports federations responsible for this chaos?” he asked.

He said even the programme for the preparation of the sportspersons for the Games is in total disarray, and this has led to a large number of players failing the dope test.

“Coaching and training of all sportspersons is done in the government-run SAI centres. Practically all coaches are their employees. If players are found guilty, the coaches and officials involved in their training are equally responsible.”