Putting national duty first, Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) president Narinder Batra has said that he will never allow parents of players to stay with the team at the Games Village during any major tournament.
He said that parents are more than welcome to stay in a hotel, but being with players at the Games Village will never get his nod.
“You want to take parents along with you, take them, but make sure they stay in a hotel. I do not oppose that. As far as national duty is concerned, ones who are involved with you, like the coach and trainer, they can stay with you,” Batra said.
“I am against parents staying with a player in the Games Village. You will never find me supporting it. Until they are known to be actively involved, I will never allow it,” he added.
Batra also revealed that last time he was threatened by the players that they will boycott the tournament if their parents are not given permission to stay with them at the Games Village.
“Last time we were threatened as well, that the players won’t represent the country. The village is for coaches. Parents can go, but they need to stay outside. They are not allowed to stay at the village. For me, all the athletes are the same,” Batra said.
“If I ever get threatened by the players, I will appear on the national television next day and say it out loud that I am being told that the player is not willing to represent India because of their parents not being allowed to stay at the Games Village,” he added.
The IOA president also said that he does not understand why people bring up the misuse of funds being done by respective federations.
Sports Code has the purpose of good governance. I do not know where the problem is. It is a misconception that the funds are being misused. I have always cleared this (that) we have not received any money from SAI, so how will we misuse this? Federation tries very hard to get sponsorships, and we have to make the most out of them,” Batra said.
“I do not get the criticism of the funds being misused. This is very unfortunate. We are working out of passion and want to ensure the growth of the sport. You tell us where the fault is, just do not shout without any evidence,” he added.
Talking about Asian Games, Batra said that there is a gap of just 32 days between the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. He said that no one can peak twice within 32 days, so appropriate steps need to be taken.
“There is just a gap of 32 days between Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. We need to think beyond money, the country needs to be put first. Representing your country is a matter of pride. If you do not believe me, you ask high-performance directors, they will also tell you that you cannot peak twice within 32 days,” Batra said.