Sports Authority Of India Blames AFI For Sending Overaged Athletes To Youth Games
A "livid" Sports Authority of India on Monday decided to take the Athletics Federation of India to task for the embarrassment it caused to the country after 18 overaged athletes were barred from the Nanjing Asian Youth Games and said that "it would recover the money spent by it on the athletes' airfare," according to the PTI. Squarely blaming the AFI for the incident, SAI Dir-General Jiji Thomson said that the government had spent around Rs. 10 lakh ($15,840) "for the airfare of the disqualified athletes who are returning home from China." Only U17 athletes -- those born in Jan. '97 or later -- were eligible to take part in the Asian Youth Games, "but the AFI included 18 athletes, who were born in 1996 in the track and field team of 27." Thomson: "It's a huge embarrassment. We are terribly annoyed by the development." The AFI claimed that it had followed Int'l Association of Athletics Federation rules "according to which 1996-born players were eligible." But they "forgot that the Games were being held" as per the IOC rules (PTI, 8/19).