A cut below the rest

Barring a gymnastics trainer for the wrong clothes shows the mismatch between sports and its officials.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2010 21:34 IST
Hindustan Times

A trouser ending above the knees and a blazer which pinched, it took this sartorial snafu to show us the sloppy manner in which Indian sports is managed. Vladamir Chertkov, consultant, Indian gymnastics team, left the ongoing Asian Games in a huff, after he wasn’t allowed to participate in the opening ceremony. Chertkov refused to wear the Indian team blazer and trousers because they didn’t fit him. Angry at how the problem was handled, he lashed out at Indian sports officialdom and said that it’s all about the way the sports babudom treats sportsmen and coaches.

Chertkov was bang on target. As we have seen many times before, sports officials are the bane of Indian sports. They are the ones who walk away with all the privileges, while our sportsmen learn how to live and perform with whatever little that is left for them. Most Indian contingents to sporting extravaganzas like the Asiad have more than the required number of officials with little interest in sports, and more interest in other extra-curricular activities.

So what do we do with these officials who have a habit of creeping their way up in the world of sports administration and not leave unless and until they are forced to? Can someone drill into their heads that these are not all-expenses paid trips for a jolly and a jaunt. Maybe, the government should limit the number of tours these officials can go on every year. In any case, their work is before any international event, not during it. At least, we don’t need so many extra hands to coordinate the affairs of the contingent. No medals for that logic.

First Published: Nov 15, 2010 21:25 IST