IOA chief disapproves of Khelo India selecting hockey players

Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra has questioned the Sports Ministry’s move to pick hockey players under the Khelo India Talent Development Programme, saying that the IOA will not approve such a selection if the National Sports Federation was not involved.

The ministry has selected 50 boys and girls each from the Khelo India School Games held earlier this year. It informed Hockey India and the IOA on June 25 about this selection of players to groom them under its Talent Development Programme.

In response to the ministry’s move, Batra said, “I would like to understand whether the athletes in the attached list under Khelo India Talent development programme have been selected by the selection committee of the NSF or by the Sports Authority of India approved selectors thru Khelo India.

“In case the NSF is not involved then we do not approve of this selection.”

A few months ago, Batra had asked the office bearers of all the NSFs to desist from associating with the Khelo India programme, saying this would amount to compromising on the autonomy of the sports federations.