Kiren Rijiju
Kiren RijijuIANS (File photo)

Full financial support to NSFs to prepare teams for Olympics: Rijiju

New Delhi, February 6, 2020

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said that the government will provide full financial support to the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to prepare teams for the Olympic Games.

"If there are shortage of funds for the federations, these can always be taken up, that is why there is a provision for revision. If they need more money, they will get more money," Rijiju told media persons

The minister's reply was in response to a query that the Sports Ministry may reduce the funds after the Finance Ministry slashed its allocation in the Budget for 2020-21.

Rijiju said: "You are looking from a different angle. Whatever we got in the last budget allocation, we had a jump of more than 50 %, what you are saying 50 crores, you are comparing from the Revised Estimate (RE), if you see the original allocation in last budget, it is a historical jump."

"You have to see from the actual stand point, then you will get the complete picture," he added.

The Indian Olympic Association had recently invited BCCI President and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly to become the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

To a question whether an Olympian would have been a better choice, he replied, "For me, every Indian has to be an ambassador for the Olympics because it is a platform which determines which country stands where in the sports, so I'm not looking for one or two person. IOA is an independent body but as a government I look forward to every Indian as an ambassador."

He was asked for his reaction to India making the finals of the under-19 cricket World Cup after beating Pakistan by 10 wickets and his answer was, "India has always beaten Pakistan in the World Cups, not only in cricket but also in other sports like hockey. But when we talk about Indian standard, I don't look at our duel with Pakistan, because we are a much better, bigger and stronger sporting nation,"

Talking about the inaugural Khelo India University Games (KIUG), to be held at the KIIT University Campus in Bhubaneswar from February 22 to March 1, he said: "I am excited to see the huge shift in the way we organise sporting events in India. Now we are going to have Khelo India University Games in Orissa. It would happen in a mega scale, it would not be like what we used to see, where each university used to host one discipline.

"World wide, the standard of University Games is high, most of the stars of the Olympics come from here. Because the age bar is higher than Youth games, the standard will be higher and we will definitely see many champions from this. We are focusing on scouting for talent. It will be a platform to create a talent pool, who will be provided training and support."

The KIUG will have approximately 3343 athletes (Male- 1738, Female- 1605) from around 80-100 universities, apart from technical and supporting staff. The KIUG-2020 Odisha will have 17 sports disciplines (Individual events - Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Swimming, Weightlifting, Wrestling; Team Games - Badminton, Basketball, Football, Hockey, table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Rugby, Kabaddi).

The games will be staged across 10 venues between Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack. Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology will be the main centre for the sporting extravaganza.


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