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Jaya sends back Lankan team, sacks official over match with SL soccer team

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chennai, September 02, 2012
First Published: 19:30 IST(2/9/2012) | Last Updated: 10:05 IST(3/9/2012)

Football has kicked up a storm in Tamil Nadu, with chief minister J Jayalalithaa ordering sending back a Lankan football team home and  suspending a stadium official for allowing a friendly  match between a Sri Lankan college team and Chennai's customs department on August 31.


Coming against the backdrop of the training of Sri Lankan defence personnel in India, the football encounter was described by Jayalalithaa on Sunday as "a further humiliation for the people of Tamil Nadu".

She was referring to the strong sentiment in the state against Sri Lanka's atrocities against and repression of Tamils in that country.

Slamming the central government for going ahead with the match without the knowledge of the state government, Jayalaithaa said in a statement that she came to know of the event only after it had taken place.

Royal College of Colombo  had got in touch with a senior officer of the Reserve Bank of India in Chennai to organise the
sporting event.

"I have ordered a full-fledged probe," Jayalalithaa said. It revealed that the RBI officer had orally requested the Nehru Stadium officer, M Thomas, to help organise the match, which he did orally.

"The stadium officer does not have the powers to organise a match like this," the chief minister said.

"The permission has to be given by the Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority. By using an authority that did not exist, the official had demeaned the sentiments of Tamil people," she said in a statement.

 The stadium officer had acted beyond his powers to let the Colombo team play a football match here. I have instructed the chief secretary to initiate departmental action against the stadium officer," her statement said.

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