In what can be termed as shocking, Hockey India (HI) did not pay travel allowance (TA) to the men's and women's team for attending camps for the Guangzhou Asian Games in November last. This was despite the Sports Authority of India (SAI) passing on the funds to HI.
This is not all. The players were not paid TA for attending camps for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (men's tournament) and Champions Challenge Cup-II (women's event). The players were not the only ones to suffer. Even the support staff was not paid TA for the camps.
"We have submitted the travel bills, including air tickets, to HI but are yet to be reimbursed. We don't know whether they will give us TA for the camp starting July 1 in Bangalore," said a probable of the men's team.
Campers get TA for travelling from their homes to the camp venue, and are entitled to travel by air, road and train (AC-II tier).
"It's been a couple of months since the sports ministry released around R18 lakh to HI to meet the travel and transportation costs of the players attending the Asian Games camp. The sum released is 80% of the TA for the men and women's camps. The ministry will release the remaining amount only after accounts are submitted. Till date, HI has not given an account of the money paid to them," said a senior SAI official.
"For the Sultan Azlan Shah and Champions Challenge-II camps, HI has not submitted the bills. The day they do so, we will release the money," he added.
When contacted, Narinder Batra, HI secretary general, said, "As per my knowledge, no dues are pending. But if there are any (dues), we will clear them by tomorrow (Friday)."
On submitting bills for the Sultan Azlan Shah and Champions Challenge-II camps, Batra said, "It is better you ask SAI.
“We've sent the bills thrice, but they are not accepting them because of internal differences."