Haryana government cancels award function for CWG medallists after prize money furore
The function was to be held in Panchkula on Thursday but athletes such as Vinesh Phogat, Neeraj Chopra and boxer Manoj Kumar had refused to attend it, citing the cut proposed for athletes employed with units like the Railways and Services.other sports Updated: Apr 25, 2018 22:53 IST
The Haryana government has cancelled the felicitation function for the state’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) medal winners in the wake of furore by some medallists over the proposed cut in the prize money.
The function was scheduled to be held in Panchkula on Thursday and invites for the same were being distributed.
Notably, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and boxer Manoj Kumar had refused to attend the event, citing the cut proposed for athletes employed with units like the Railways and Services. While Phogat and Chopra had clinched gold medals, Manoj grabbed a bronze in the Gold Coast games.
Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki was to honour the medal winners at the function, which was to be attended by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and sports minister Anil Vij.
The state government cancelled the function following the resentment among some medallists.
Announcing the decision to cancel the event, sports minister Anil Vij told newspersons that it had also been decided to review the state’s existing sports policy.
“It was quite clear in our sports policy to give award money to players who represent Haryana and there is no provision in it to give award to those who represent other bodies like Railways or the army,’’ he added.
Haryana gives highest award money and it was decided that we would deduct the prize money given to players by their employers like Railways or the army from the total award money given by the Haryana government, he said.
“This decision was taken in the interest of players so that all players get equal respect and no room is left for any inferiority complex to set in. However, keeping in view the resistance of some players, the sports policy will be reconsidered,” Vij added.
Out of the 22 CWG medallists from Haryana, 13 represented organisations such as Indian Railways and the army and the state government was to felicitate all the 22 medal winners.
However, a furore erupted after some medal winners threatened to boycott the felicitation programme to protest the government’s proposal to cut their prize money.
According to Haryana’s sports policy, a CWG gold medallist from the state gets Rs 1.5 crore, a silver medallist Rs 75 lakh and a bronze-medallist Rs 50 lakh.