Two key officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), including its director general, Jiji Thomson, have called off their trip to the Asian Games.
"I am not going," Thomson told HT on the sidelines of a function at the SAI headquarters on Friday. He did not elaborate why he had called off the visit.
SAI executive-director, Sudhir Setia, who heads the teams division, has also decided to cancel the trip. He had got his accreditation as an Indian Olympic Association (IOA) guest. Setia claimed he was never part of the Incheon-bound delegation, but when informed that his name was there on the list, he said it would have been the preliminary one and not the final list.
On September 21, the IOA sent the list of a nine-member delegation to the sports ministry. The communication also included the category of accreditation. Thomson was to get his accreditation as member, IOA, which is technically wrong.
G Kishore and SS Roy are the two other SAI officials in the nine-member team. Kishore is posted in Kerala while Roy is the senior-most official at Patiala's National Institute of Sports. The duo might follow in Thomson's footsteps but were not available for a comment.
The whole issue would have gone unnoticed had a functionary of a national sports federation not furnished these details to the media.
Following this, the SAI officials opted out, but Vivek Narayan, director, sports ministry, decided to go ahead.
Two officials of the ministry - SPS Tomar (accredited as IOA headquarters staff) and Onkarmal Kedia (accredited as IOA member) - had left for Incheon before the controversy erupted.
It is learnt that the spat between the ministry and IOA over the Asian Games accreditation could sour relations between the two in the coming months.