IOA welcomes inclusion of hockey in ‘priority’ list

April 24th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Thursday welcomed the re-inclusion of hockey in the “priority” category of the union sports ministry, saying it would give a fillip to the game. “I am happy that the sports ministry has put hockey, football, volleyball and swimming in the priority category. These are important disciplines and the respective federations will be able to send their teams for more international exposure,” IOA president Suresh Kalmadi told reporters while inspecting the Thyagaraj Sports Complex here.

Regarding the contentious National Sports Policy that proposes to take away the autonomy of the sports federations, Kalmadi said new Sports Minister M.S. Gill was of the opinion that the federations should continue to enjoy their autonomy.

Asked about Gill’s remark that the federations should have more youngsters, he said: “It was my suggestion. I believe that the national federations should take young technical officers.”

Kalmadi said IOA has called a meeting of its executive committee Monday to look into the bribery scandal that has hit the hockey federation following a television sting operation. Any decision on the matter would be taken after discussion with all the federations, he added.

Kalmadi, who is also the chairman of the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, said the construction of the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, was on schedule. It is to host the netball competition for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“The infrastructure work for the Games is going ahead of schedule, and the work of this venue will be completed before September 2009. I am particularly happy that all building material used in this project is according to the green specification because the 2010 Games will be ‘Green Games’,” he said.

The indoor stadium, being built at a cost of Rs.2.97 billion, will be a training-cum-competition venue for netball and also serve as a training facility for athletics.

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