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Fate of Indian team hangs in balance

It's appalling how the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) functions. It's not even a year since university sport was accorded 'priority' status by the Sports Ministry, and the AIU has almost goofed up on the plan to send an Indian team for the World University Games (WUG) in Belgrade, Serbia from July 1-12.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2009 00:38 IST
Saurabh Duggal

It's appalling how the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) functions. It's not even a year since university sport was accorded 'priority' status by the Sports Ministry, and the AIU has almost goofed up on the plan to send an Indian team for the World University Games (WUG) in Belgrade, Serbia from July 1-12.

The most shocking part is that during last month's annual general body meeting of the AIU no agenda was set for the WUG. Interestingly, India had bagged a gold and bronze in the 2007 edition at Bangkok.

AIU general-secretary, Dayanand Dongaonkar, told HT that the proposal was with the Sports Ministry and a reply was awaited. "Funding is

a major problem, so we have sent the proposal to the ministry. We are hopeful of getting the clearance," said Dongaonkar. "As soon as we get the clearance, we will hold trials and select the team. We will send 64 players in five-six disciplines," he added.

Even if the AIU gets clearance, how will it select a team in such a short duration, and where will it hold trials and camps? And what about the visa formalities?

When the AIU knew about the ministry's one-month 'clearance' requirement, why was there a delay in submitting the proposal?

"We have submitted the proposal and we are optimistic," was all Dongaonkar had to say.

"If the AIU cannot send a team to the WUG, why are they controlling university sport? They are killing sports in
universities," said a director, sports, of a top university.