The two incidents …. Delhi High Court`s decision on 57 National Sports Federations and then the COVID-19 sacking, have sidelined the Indian sports amidst all this, Sports Authority of India (SAI) has been authorized the task of bringing this entire matter back on track but does not have many rights that are with National sports Federations. This harms the players who are preparing for the Olympics and Olympics qualifying events.
The Camp was to be set up in NIS Patiala, but the Punjab government has placed a condition of 14-day quarantine for all the players and support staff. Badminton Association of India did not get permission from the Telangana government to organize a camp in Hyderabad. Everyone know the fact that Gopichand Academy is perfect for a national camp and Hyderabad has emerged as a nursery of Indian badminton. Kidambi Srikanth, former world number one, is practicing in his home town Guntur, 270 km from Hyderabad.
Most of the players have been dependent on online trainings. Obviously, these players are not able to achieve anything except fitness by not getting a tough opponent during practice, It is possible that a camp can start at the Prakash Padukone Center of Excellence in Bengaluru. The preparations for the 15 boxers, preparing for Olympic or Olympic qualifying events have been severely affected by the quarantine in Patiala. These players are quarantined at SAI hostels outside NIS. Their samples have been taken for the COVID test. But the three boxers in the squad are accused of practicing in violation of quarantine. SAI has set an inquiry on this matter.
At the camp, Amit Panghal, Asian Games gold medalist and silver medalist of World Championship and Vikas Krishan, CWG champion and Simranjit Kaur, Bronze medalist of World Championship have also reached the camp. Olympic bound boxer Lalina Borgohain will not be able to attend the national camp on time as Sarbananda Sonowal`s Assam government has imposed strict restrictions on COVID-19 in the state despite the fact that he was a former Sports Minister in the center.
Badminton, Wrestling and Swimming camps are yet to start. However, SAI is serious about starting these camps. Swimmers are so upset that they ee their career ending. Recently, India`s star swimmer Virdhawal Khade said that if the swimming pools are not open, then he can consider taking retirement. Eminent coach Nihar Amin appealed to the government to intervene in this regard. It is worth noting here that six Indian swimmers have achieved the B qualifying level of the Olympics, while Khade, Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj have the ability to achieve A qualification. SAI has taken up the task of organizing the camp but without the support of the federation its work is getting badly affected. Players coming from other states are currently have to make own arrangements for their train or Air fair and lodging. All this does not come under the jurisdiction of SAI.
The solution to all this problem is that the government should make arrangements for these preparations in countries like Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia where COVID-19 has been controlled to a great extent. If this permission is obtained from Australia then it is even better because there is a swimming culture and Indian swimmers will get good competition and exposure. However, the good news for Indian shooters is that the Karni Singh Shooting Range has been opened. This is also a good news for 15 shooters who have got the Olympic quota and preparing for the trial.
At the same time, Table Tennis players are hopeful that ITTF and ITFI will soon release their calaenders. Since then, the work will be speeded up, especially at SAI`s Sonipat and Kolkata centres. Wrestling is under contact sports category. SAI has given a directive to the wrestlers to use dummy during the practice. If the opinion was taken from the experts, such a childish decision would not have to be made as dummies are used by the trainees who intend to practice start wrestling. An international level player can get the right practice with their sparing partner only under the supervision of their coach. Government has opened the doors for training of non-contract games like Archery, Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton at Nehru Stadium and Dhyan Chand Stadium in Delhi to normalize the situation in sports. But there is such a fear among the players about KOVID-19 that the number of people who come here is so low that they can be counted on fingers.
Sports is facing a strange situation in India after the ban on Sports associations as the fate of sports now is looked after by people who have no close idea of it. Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju is deeply hurt by this current situation. At the same time when he took charge he said, that the government is not running the sports in the country. National Sports Federation and IOA will have to fulfil their responsibility. He also said that to make the policies for sports is not the work of the court but it is the government`s job to make the sports policies to be further implemented by Sports Federations and IOA.
State government`s attitude towards the camp of Indian players has created a problem. If the COVID-19 tests of players in the national camp comes negative then there should be a quarantine of not more than three to four days so that their preparations are not affected.